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TCHS gets fourth shutout of season with win over Northridge


Tuscaloosa County’s Tylan Perry (82) ran for 198 yards on 27 carries. (Photo by Jason Harless)


NORTHPORT | The Tuscaloosa County Wildcats recorded their fourth shutout Friday night, but winning wasn’t easy.

TCHS scored on its first possession and its next-to-last possession, and Emiliano Ramirez kicked two field goals in a 19-0 victory over Northridge in a Class 6A, Region 5 game.

“They have an outstanding defense,” TCHS coach Lee Gibson said. “They have an outstanding team. The young man they put in there at quarterback did an outstanding job. All hats need to go off to him and the young man that stepped in at tailback. Those two young men did a great job of leading their offense tonight.

“They had a good offense. We just made some plays on defense. And their defense is good. Their defensive line, No. 99 (Jalen Madden), for a ninth-grader people need to watch him. He’s going to be a ballplayer.”

Northridge played without leading rusher Bo Scarbrough, a junior who has committed to Alabama. Northridge coach Mike Smith said Scarbrough’s return will depend on “his attitude” next week.

Kyle Stuart, a sophomore left-hander, started at quarterback for the Jaguars. Smith said he found out Thursday that starting quarterback Tanner Cline wouldn’t be able to play because of mononucleosis.

“This is the most proud I’ve been of a Northridge football team since 2004,” Smith said. “What these kids had to overcome to have a chance to win this football game says a lot about their character and pride. It was just a good, old-fashioned rivalry football game. We played our tails off. I can’t ask for anything else out of them.

“Our defense got tired at the end. I was proud of our offense. They moved the ball. Our backup quarterback came in and made some plays for us. Our special teams are still our Achilles heel. It set the tone of the game and gave them a quick score early on.”

Tuscaloosa County’s Lucas Webb returned the opening kickoff 50 yards to the Northridge 26. Tylan Perry, the wide receiver turned running back, picked up 25 yards, and Cornelius Prewitt scored with 10:33 left in the first quarter to give the Wildcats a 6-0 lead.

Late in the opening quarter, the Jaguars started from their 16 after a punt. Deondre Rogers took a handoff and broke through the middle and appeared headed for a touchdown. TCHS defensive back Tristan Gardner caught him at the 15 after a gain of 69 yards. The drive ended with a missed field goal.

“He’s got a lot of heart,” Gibson said. “That was probably the biggest play of the game. That keeps them off the board, and who knows what happens if they score and momentum switches. That’s what we talk about, never quitting. It he had slowed down at all, that kid would have scored.”

Ramirez kicked a 24-yard field goal to boost the lead to 9-0 with 26 seconds left in the half. His second field goal, a 42-yarder, capped the Wildcats’ first drive in the third quarter.

Stuart completed passes of 15, 13 and 9 yards to help the Jaguars reach the TCHS 16. Jimmie Maddox recorded a sack for a loss of 4 yards, and the Jaguars turned the ball over on downs at the 20. The Wildcats ran the ball on 12 straight plays. Perry gained 51 yards on six carries, and Ted Colburn scored on a 1-yard run with 5:44 left.

Perry gained 198 yards on 27 carries. Rogers rushed for 106 yards on 14 carries. Stuart completed 13 of 25 passes for 79 yards with an interception.

TCHS (5-1, 4-0) plays at Minor next week. Northridge (3-3, 2-2) plays at home Friday against Hueytown.

Reach Andrew Carroll at andrew.carroll@tuscaloosanews.com or at 205-722-0223.