The Tattnall County Battle Creek Warriors traveled to Nahunta on Friday, October 21, 2022, and defeated the Blue Herons of Brantley County, 35-13, in a key Region tilt.
Brantley County returned the opening kickoff to their 35-yard line to start the game. Two plays later, Tattnall County’s defense and Josiah Anderson scooped a Blue Heron fumble and darted 28 yards for the score. The PAT was blocked, and Tattnall County led, 6-0, before the fans could get to their seats with their popcorn.
The Blue Herons turned the ball over once again on their next possession. This time, the Warriors took over from the Brantley County 43-yard line. David Hill and Jeremiah Mayner both rushed the ball to put Tattnall in the red zone. Xavier Friendy capped off the short drive with a nine-yard scamper into the end zone. The Warrior PAT was good, and Tattnall led, 13-0, with eight minutes remaining in the first period.
Later in the period, Brantley County marched into Tattnall County territory and was in prime position to score, but David Hill picked off a pass from Brantley County in the end zone to give the Warriors the ball at their own 20-yard line. The Warriors led, 13-0, at the start of the second quarter. The two teams traded punts before the Warriors made one of their best drives of the night. Tough running by Kell Lawson, Trey Rogers, and David Hill kept the chains moving for Tattnall County deep into Brantley territory once again.
With three minutes to play in the half, a Warrior runner was stripped of the ball near the Blue Herons’ ten-yard line. A Brantley County defender then raced toward the opposite end zone, but he was dragged down from behind by a hustling Friendy. For a moment, it looked like that play would lead to another goal line stand by the Warrior defense. Brantley County was able to just nudge across the goal line on fourth-down-and-goal from the two-yard line. The PAT was good, and the Warriors led, 13-7, at the intermission.
Tattnall County came out of the locker room to start the third period on a mission. The Warriors took the kickoff and methodically marched to the end zone. David Hill capped the drive on a 13-yard touchdown jaunt. Hill then rushed in for the two-point conversion, and the Warriors pushed their lead to 21-7 with 10 minutes and 11 seconds to go in the third stanza.
The Warrior defense would then do its job on the Blue Herons’ next possession. Brantley was able to gain two first downs and moved into Warrior territory. A great pass rush by the Warrior front line forced a bad pass attempt by the Blue Herons’ quarterback. The short pass was intercepted by Tattnall on their 34-yard line.
Tattnall’s offense quickly picked up where they left off. The Warrior offensive line held their blocks well and allowed the runners to gain big chunks of yards on each play. Xavier Friendy then capped the drive with a 17-yard touchdown run, as the Blue Heron defense appeared to be worn down. The PAT was good, and the Warriors led, 28-7, at the 5:55 minute mark of period number three.
In the fourth quarter, Brantley County would strike first. After a short punt by Tattnall County, the Blue Herons were able to mount a scoring drive. Brantley scored on a 20-yard touchdown pass with 8:03 left in the game. The PAT was no good, and Tattnall County led, 28-13.
Brantley’s onside kick attempt literally went sideways and landed out of bounds at their own 43-yard line.
On the next play, Hill made a nice run to the Blue Heron 15-yard line. Two plays later, Friendy scored on a seven-yard trap play. The PAT was good, and Tattnall County led, 35-13, with 4:33 to go. The Blue Herons got a nice kick return on the ensuing kickoff and started from mid-field.
On first-down-and-ten, however, Mayner got up high in the air and intercepted a pass attempt by Brantley to give Tattnall the ball back with 4:17 on the clock.
The Warrior offense was able to run out the clock and get the victory, 35-13. With the win, the Warriors improve to 5-3 overall and 3-1, tied for second, in the Region. Brantley County drops to 5-4, 2-3 in Region play.
The Warriors will travel to Baxley to face the Appling County Pirates on Friday, October 29.
Tattnall Co. Stats:
David Hill had 25 carries for 186 yards and two touchdowns. Jeremiah Mayner had 11 carries for 106 yards.
Xavier Friendy had five carries for 38 yards and two touchdowns.
Kell Lawson had 10 carries for 55 yards.