By Orrey Bolton/For Florence Times-Daily
Red Bay withstood three early turnovers deep in its own territory to defeat Westbrook Christian, 14-7, in the opening round of the Class 2A state playoffs last Friday (Nov. 9).
The Tigers (8-3) travel to Woodland for a second round game this week.
Westbrook gained just 115 yards through the air on 27 attempts and could manage only 93 yards on the ground.
“I was proud of our effort, but we made too many mistakes,” Westbrook Christian coach Tony Osborne said. “I have to credit the Red Bay defense.”
The Warriors (7-4) did manage to capitalize on the Tigers’ first mistake of the game.
Red Bay fumbled the opening kickoff, giving Westbrook prime field position. Just two minutes into the game, Jonathan Ford scored on a 4-yard touchdown run, putting the Warriors up 7-0.
Red Bay then lost a fumble on its first play from scrimmage, setting up the Warriors up deep in Tiger territory.
This time the Red Bay defense held, holding Westbrook on fourth down.
The Tigers got their offense going early in the second quarter when Matt Belue scored on a 1-yard run.
The game remained tied 7-7 until late in the third quarter, when Steven Wood scored on a 4-yard touchdown run with 2:02 to play in the quarter, giving Red Bay its first lead of the night, 14-7.
Payne halted the Warriors’ final drive with an interception at the Westbrook 36.