By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Tattnall County defeats Claxton, 15-8
Tattnall Warriors charge the field ready for action
Tattnall Warriors charge the field ready for action. (Photo by PAUL EVANS)

On Friday, August 18, 2023, the Tattnall County Warriors traveled to Claxton and defeated the Tigers, 15-8. The game was the season opener for both squads, and Claxton dedicated their brand new stadium, Tiger Town, before kickoff. Ironically, 30 years ago the Tattnall County Warriors played its very first football game, also in Claxton; it was another Tattnall win.

Claxton won the opening toss and received the ball. The Tigers started offensively from their own 35-yard line. The Warrior defense quickly forced a three and out, and the Tigers punted on 4th down and 6 to go.

After a block in the back on the return, the Warriors took control from their own 24-yard line. Tattnall County gained several first downs with hard-nosed running from Trey Rogers and Xavier Friendy. But the drive stalled on the Tiger 16-yard line when Tattnall failed to convert on the 4th down. 

On the next possession, the Warrior defense once again stood strong and forced another punt after three plays went nowhere. This time, however, Tattnall County got great field position after a short punt at the Tigers 45-yard line with 2:34 remaining in the first quarter. Tattnall’s Kell Lawson carried the ball three times in a row to pick up a Tattnall County first down. But two plays later the Warriors were facing 3rd and 15 as the first period ended.

In the second quarter, Lawson rushed for 4 yards on 3rd down. On 4th and 11, the Warriors’ pass attempt was broken up by a Claxton defender near the 5-yard line. Claxton regained possession. Another punt by the Tigers three plays later once again put the Warriors in great field position near mid-field.

Trey Rogers and Kell Lawson ran the ball offensively to move the chains for the Warriors. Tattnall’s junior quarterback, T.J. Fleming, connected with senior Xavier Friendy on a 2-yard pass down the middle to give the Warriors 1st and goal on the Claxton 4-yard line. Xavier Friendy bullied his way into the end zone two plays later. The PAT failed, and the Warriors led 6-0 with 4:25 to play before the half. The Warriors kicked off and Claxton got on excellent return to the Tattnall County 36-yard line.

Two plays later, the Tigers’ quarterback scrambled down to the Warriors 3-yard line. The Tigers would later score on a 1-yard run. The Tigers added the two-point conversion and led (8-6) with 2:54 to go in the half. A short kick gave the Warriors the ball at their own 45-yard line. Trey Rogers then ripped off a big 17-yard gain off right tackle. A few plays later, the Warriors would add a 39-yard field goal on the last play of the half. Tattnall County took a slim 9-8 halftime lead.

In the third quarter, Tattnall County took their opening possession of the half and dove deep into Claxton territory, but turned the ball over on downs at the Tigers’ 18-yard line. 

Claxton made a nice drive into Warrior territory on the next possession. It was, however, aided by a personal foul penalty against the Warriors. But a forced fumble recovered by Tattnall County at the 48-yard lined ended the drive with 3:50 left in the third quarter.

The Warriors would add to their lead early in the fourth quarter when Trey Rogers scored a 1-yard touchdown run. The PAT failed again, and Tattnall led 15-8, with 11:41 to go in the game. Both teams would take possessions from that point on without a score. The Warriors threatened to add to their lead in the waning seconds. But a holding penalty nullified a 2-yard touchdown run and time expired with Tattnall County on the Tigers’ 12-yard line. The Warriors held on for a 15-8 win. Tattnall County is now (1-0), Claxton drops to (0-1).