STOCKBRIDGE — Scenarios were set to play out one way or another Friday night but the Tigers were only able to focus on what they could do against the Jones County Greyhounds.
They did as the Tigers won over Jones County 44-14 but the Tigers entered this game as the underdog and in an unusual position. They weren’t the region champions or the region runner-ups like last year.
Instead, Stockbridge was playing for the No. 3 and had Ola and Union Grove hanging in the balance of the game.
Through the first half of play, it was a rocky start that led to a Stockbridge halftime lead.
The Tigers kicked the ball off to Jones County at the start of the game and before four minutes had passed, the Greyhounds drove down the field and scored on the legs of quarterback Hunter Costlow. But where the Tigers struggled in every other game this year, they found a way to rally quickly.
The first Tiger drive went for one first-down and nothing more as the team found their drive end with a punt but they found something on defense. The Tigers forced Jones County to go for it on fourth down and completed their battle but had to drive 61 yards to paydirt.
Quick passes and shifty running was the Tigers’ friend as they drove to the endzone with just 12.8 seconds remaining on the clock in the first quarter. A solid pass from Jevon McDonald to Markell Ramsey tied the game up.
In the second quarter, Jones County had the ball but started on their own five-yard line and drove down the field 58 yards and were threatening to score. But the Tigers found some kind of luck go their way.
The team that struggled with fumbles earlier this year had a fumble go their way as the Greyhounds dropped the ball on the turf and Stockbridge recovered easily.
That’s where the game finally opened up for the Tigers.
McDonald, who scored a passing touchdown earlier in the night found Jalen Taylor twice for 55-yards and 43-yard scores. Jones County scored late in the second quarter but the Tigers answered with a Braylin Madkins two-yard rush.
The Tigers kept their foot on the gas through the third quarter.
Another touchdown by Madkins gave some insurance while Marco Trejo tacked on a field goal in the fourth quarter.
Another passing touchdown to Taylor blasted the Tigers up to a 30-point lead and solidified their postseason hopes with the win. Stockbridge will be the No. 3 seed this year but they held off the top team in the region and held their postseason hopes alive.
SHS 7 21 6 10 — 44
JHS 7 7 0 0 — 14
JHS: Costlow 4-rush (9:29, 7-0, West PAT)
SHS: McDonald 9 pass Ramsey (12.8, 7-7, Trejo PAT)
SHS: McDonald 55 pass Taylor (7:36, 14-7, Trejo PAT)
SHS: McDonald 43 pass Taylor (2:58, 21-7, Trejo PAT)
JHS: Wooten 2 rush (55.2, 21-14, West PAT)
SHS: Madkins 2 rush (3.9, 28-14, Trejo PAT)
SHS: Madkins 22 rush (9:38, 34-14, Try Fail)
SHS: Trejo 24 FG (11:54, 37-14)
SHS: McDonald 31 pass Taylor (4:38, 44-14, Trejo PAT)