Whale Branch 32, Allendale-Fairfax 22
The second time was a charm.
Playing second-ranked Allendale-Fairfax on Friday for the second time in two weeks, this time in the opening round of the Class 1-A Division I playoffs. After a tough 14-7 loss last week, this time Whale Branch got the job done.
The Warriors (7-3) knocked off the Tigers, 32-22, on the road to advance to play Estill, a 20-13 winner over Baptist Hill, next week.
Whale Branch beat Estill, 32-20, on the road earlier this season.
The Tigers (9-1) scored first and the Warriors responded with a 52-yard touchdown strike from Brandon Morton to Dee Delaney.
In the second quarter, with the Tigers holding a 14-8 lead, Tyrick Spicer blocked an Allendale-Fairfax punt and Javonta Delaney ran it in for a touchdown, and the Warriors took a 16-14 lead.
"It was a slugfest," Whale Branch assistant coach and athletics director Carlos Cave said.
The Tigers would score again for a 22-16 halftime lead, but Mark Rivers returned the opening kickoff of the second half 90 yards for a touchdown to give the Warriors a lead they wouldn't surrender at 24-22.
Micheal Dantzler was on his way into the end one in the fourth quarter when he fumbled. Offensive lineman Casser Middleton fell on the ball in the end zone to score for Whale Branch, closing the scoring.
"We forced several fumbles tonight that gave us a short field and gave our offense scoring opportunities," Cave said.