Tigers shutout Jaguars to snap losing streak

Published 3:41 pm Thursday, September 8, 2022

Luverne High School traveled to Clayton Friday night to play Barbour County. The Tigers shutout the Jaguars, 75-0, despite playing junior varsity players in the second half.

The Tigers were looking for a win following back-to-back losses to Brantley (31-7 on Aug. 19) and Geneva County (14-7 on Aug. 26). 

Social media reactions quickly raised concerns over the large score difference, which was five points below the most scored in a Crenshaw County game. 

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According to the Alabama High School Football Historical Society, ahsfhs.org, the shutout record was set in 1915 when Hamilton defeated Fayette 125-0. The record was tied 10 years later by Langdale against Milltown. 

“We had subs in late in the first quarter and played a lot of guys in the second quarter, including our backup quarterback,” Luverne head coach Jason Rowell said. “In the second half, we changed all special teams to JV kids. In the second half, nothing but JV kids played during the eight-minute quarters and running clock.” 

Rowell said several touchdowns scored were by the defense. 

“My hat is off to the Barbour County players and coaches; they played hard til the clock read zero,” Rowell said. “I thought our offensive line played well and our receivers blocked well on the perimeter. We still have a long way to go as a team, we’re just trying to get better day by day.” 

Dee Smith, junior running back, was the first to score with a 45-yard touchdown followed by three consecutive touchdowns by senior quarterback John Taylor that totaled 86 yards, placing the Tigers in the lead by 27 points. 

The scoring surge continued in the second quarter despite Taylor not starting.

“I played but I didn’t start. My coach wanted me to go back to work on a few throwing concepts,” Taylor said. “My back-up quarterback Tyler Carter took most of the snaps the rest of the game.”

Smith started off the quarter with an eight-yard touchdown run and wrapped up with a 17-yard touchdown run after a lateral catch thrown by Taylor. Backup freshman quarterback Tyler Carter completed a pass to senior DeShaun Brooks, who ran it in for a 65-yard touchdown. Jamarcus Davison, junior wide receiver, caught an 18-yard touchdown reception. Junior Wide Receiver Aderion Foster added a 4-yard touchdown, complete with spins to avoid being taken down by Jaguars. 

The Tigers led by 62  at halftime. 

Carter scored his first touchdown of the night with a 2-yard run in the fourth quarter. 

Kane Smith, freshman middle linebacker, completed the Tigers scoring rampage with a 50-yard interception return. 

Taylor said it felt good to get his first three touchdowns and ultimately win the game, but it wasn’t to show off. 

“The team wasn’t (on our level) so there was no need to gloat or celebrate too much,” Taylor said. “I was just trying to help the Tigers out of this little slump.”

Taylor said the Tigers are ready for Friday night after ending the short losing streak. They will travel to Horseshoe Bend (1-1) in New Site to play the Generals for the first time since 2007.