By David Wheeler
Special to the Journal
BELDEN – Hatley finished its non-division schedule Friday with a 48-6 victory over the Tupelo Christian Eagles.
“We used our speed tonight,” Hatley coach Patrick Schoolar said. “The Tupelo defense was tough early against things we usually do well, and we made some adjustments.”
Those adjustments for Hatley included turning to the ground game, featuring Chance Lindsey and Jaylon Jernighan. Lindsey ran for four touchdowns, beginning with a first-quarter 74-yard dash off tackle.
Tupelo Christian was stubborn early, pulling close on the scoreboard as quarterback Caleb Kitchens found Jack Gilmore for an 18-yard TD that made the score 7-6.
Jernighan then scored on a speed sweep, a 52-yard effort to end the first period scoring.
The second quarter saw Jernighan pop another speed sweep, this time for 64 yards. That was followed by a 50-yard burst up the middle by Lindsey, giving Hatley a 28-6 halftime advantage.
The Tigers open division play next week in 1-2A against the dangerous Walnut Wildcats. An independent team, TCPS has two more games left in the season, hosting McAdams next.
Turning Point: With the score 7-6, two back-to-back touchdowns for Hatley by wingback Jaylon Jernighan of 52 and 64 yards, both on speed sweeps. Jernighan only had three carries on the night, totaling 117 yards.
Point Man: Running back Chance Lindsey for Hatley total 194 yards on the ground to go along with his four touchdowns.
Talking Point: “Their depth was a big factor. once our kids got tired, it was hard to compete with 60 kids on the other team.” – TCPS coach Shaune Holiday
• Displaying nice poise for a small school quarterback, Caleb Kitchens of TCPS threw for 104 yards on 10 completions, all in the first half.
• The two teams, Hatley and TCPS, had the dubious stat of 33 incompletions on the night.
• Hatley quarterback Tyler Peek threw for 83 yards on four completions.