The 2022 football season is underway - and it went Tallassee's way on Thursday night at J. E. "Hot" O'Brien Stadium. The Tigers rolled to a 37-13 win over Reeltown.
Miscues by the Rebels led to points as Tallassee capitalized on four Reeltown turnovers. None were bigger than a 99-yard scoop and score on a fumble return by James Bender in the second quarter. It gave Tallassee a 19-0 lead just as it appeared the rivals from across the Tallapoosa were just about to get back in it.
Reeltown did get on the scoreboard with a 53-yard run by Arthur Woods on the first drive of the second half, but the Tigers countered with a 14-play scoring drive capped by Tyler Ellis' seven-yard touchdown run. It was Ellis' first of two scores on the night. The drive chewed up almost seven minutes of clock. Ellis led all rushers with 81 yards on 18 carries.
Cade Everson added 71 yards on 10 carries and two more TDs. Lil' Josh Griffin picked up the Tigers other score.
Tallassee ran for 215 yards. Overall, they outyardaged Reeltown by just 12 yards working with a short field most of the evening and the aid of penalty yards - 85 by the Rebels on 12 infractions.
"We thought we were in good condition. I talked with Coach (Matt) Johnson. He thought they were. It's just so humid," said THS head coach Mike Battles of the conditions and numerous stoppages for players cramping. "Tonight was survival of the fittest. We knew they wouldn't give up. "
Tallassee is now 9-2 under Battles in season openers and winners of the last two versus Reeltown. The Tigers lead the series 10-9.
"Our kids hung in there," Battles added. "I think our depth helped us. We were able to rotate some kids in. Our kids fought hard. The last time we played Reeltown on this field they beat us in overtime. I reminded our seniors of that all week. I'm happy for them. I'm happy for the team, but it's just the first game of the year."
Tallassee now focuses on its next opponent Booker T. Washington with a Friday night meeting in Tuskegee at 7 p.m. Score 94.7/Hit 106.9 will have live coverage beginning at 6. Audio streaming is available at: www.1300wtls.com with an audio simulcast on Spectrum Cable Channel 340. Video is streamed on Tallassee Times TV through YouTube.
*Photos by Kyle Thornton