Thompson Football Pitches Second Shutout on Senior Night Versus Wildcats
The Thompson Warriors looked to lock up the Region 3 title on Senior Night and found themselves in a battle with Tuscaloosa County this week, but took the Wildcats’ best shot and pulled away in the second half. TC was mathematically eliminated from the postseason last week versus Hoover so the Warriors met a team with nothing to lose. However, the defense put on one of their best performances of the season and the offense shut the door after halftime for a 39-0 win. The victory moves the team to 7-1 overall and 6-0 in the region earning Mark Freeman’s fourth title since his arrival in Alabaster nine years ago.
“That win secured the region for us,” said Coach Freeman after the game. “I was proud of our kids—we haven’t done that in a while.”
The Wildcats (4-4, 2-4) began the game with a slow yet effective strategy on offense and ate up the first eight minutes of the first quarter on their initial drive. Ten plays and several third down conversions landed them on the Warriors’ 34-yard line, but a bad snap led to a loss of 12 yards, the demise of the drive and a punt two plays later.
Thompson responded by showing everyone at Warrior Stadium how to complete a 13-play drive. Starting on their own 11-yard line, AJ Green got the Warriors out of trouble immediately with a 22-yard burst up the middle. Green would convert a 4th down as well, but on the drive’s 10th play Tuscaloosa County appeared to make a big stop on a second 4th down attempt from Thompson. Despite the play, the Wildcats were whistled for a substitution infraction extending Thompson’s drive.
Three plays later, running back Michael Dujon crossed the goal line from three yards out finishing off a five minute drive that wandered into the early moments of the second quarter.
The Wildcats quickly returned to form and led another drive nine plays to Thompson’s 42-yard line, but disaster struck yet again. Quarterback Braeden Smith looked to connect on a quick slant across the middle, but Thompson safety Anquon Fegans leapt in front, snatching the ball for an interception and returned it 62 yards for a 13-point lead.
If the pick six rattled Tuscaloosa County it didn’t show as the Wildcats burrowed their way into Thompson territory twice more before halftime, but again came away with nothing as the final drive ended on a fumble forced by sophomore linebacker Chance Strown and recovered by senior safety Kaleb Harris.
The defense only improved from there despite being on the field for the lion’s share of the night. The Warriors allowed less than 50 yards in the second half and only one third down conversion stopping TC on 9 of 13 attempts for the game.
After AJ Green broke off a 72-yard touchdown to start the third quarter, Anquon Fegans made another appearance, snagging his second interception of the game on the ensuing drive. The junior’s return gave the Warriors a short field and quarterback Trent Seaborn quickly capitalized, drilling sophomore receiver Colben Landrew for a 30-yard strike and a 25-0 lead less than two minutes into the half.
Zach Sims came in at quarterback next and had his best game of the year to put the icing on the cake. The senior went 7-9 for 76 yards and two touchdown passes. The first went to Deuce Oliver from two yards with 8:06 left in the third and followed that with a seven yard score to Landrew to start the fourth quarter.
Green, who passed 2,000 career rushing yards two weeks ago, led the offense with his second straight triple digit performance going for 125 yards on ten carries. Seaborn finished 10-14 passing for 103 yards and a TD while Deuce Oliver led all receivers with 71 yards and a TD on seven receptions. Landrew caught three passes for 50 yards and two scores.
Kaleb Harris led the defense with seven tackles to go with his fumble recovery. Anquon Fegans had two tackles in addition to his second and third interceptions of the season. Chance Strown added four tackles with his forced fumble.
Thompson will finish off the regular season slate next Friday, Oct 27 on the road against the Hoover Buccaneers. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.