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Football Recap: Tucker Advances to Quarterfinals

Tigers hold off East Paulding for state playoffs.

Credit: Cindy Brewer
Credit: Cindy Brewer
The No. 1 ranked Tucker Tigers recovered a fumble by East Paulding with less than 17 seconds to go at the Tucker seven-yard line to finally seal a 16-13 Class AAAAA state playoff second round victory at Hallford Stadium on Friday night.

East Paulding, the No. 3 seed out of Region 5-AAAAA, battled the Tigers all night in a defensive struggle and led 13-10 early in the third quarter on a touchdown pass from Mitchell Webb to Seth Jarrell and a two-point conversion.

Tiger kicker Eric Webber finished with 10 points on the night including third quarter field goals of 24 and 25 yards to give Tucker a 16-10 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Webber’s 10 points (three field goals and one point after kick) gives him 84 kicking points on the season breaking the school record of former Tiger kicker Ricky Peacock of 77 points set in 2008 and moved him into a tie for second all-time on the DeKalb list with former Chicago Bear and Georgia great Kevin Butler of Redan.

The two teams moved the ball in the fourth quarter, but could not score. East Paulding was threatening late when the Tiger defense which had 24 interceptions coming into the game came up with another with a chance for the Tigers to seal the game.

East Paulding forced the Tigers to punt and was 40 yards from a winning score. The Raiders moved to the Tiger 7 where a fumbled snap on an attempted spike to stop the ball resulted in the Tiger recover to seal the game.

Tucker had taken an early 7-0 first quarter lead on a 52-yard run by Yaquis Shelley and a Webber point after kick. The two teams traded field goals and East Paulding picked up a safety just before the half to trail 10-5 going into the break.

The Tigers advanced to the state quarterfinals and will host Ware County (11-1) on Friday at Hallford Stadium.

North Paulding 35, Stephenson 7
The Stephenson Jaguars got off to a rough start against North Paulding and could not recover as they were eliminated from the state playoffs by a 35-7 loss on the road.

North Paulding intercepted four Stephenson passes in the first quarter, returning two for touchdowns, and setting up two more scores on the way to a 28-0 lead.

The Jaguar defense limited North Paulding to one touchdown the rest of the way, but could not generate enough offense to get back into the game. Stephenson finishes the season 9-3.

Ringgold 37, Cedar Grove 12
The Cedar Grove Saints had their 2013 football season come to an in a 37-13 second round Class AAA state playoff contest at Ringgold on Friday night. The Saints finished the season 7-5 overall.

State Playoff Results
Friday, Nov. 22
Class AAAAA
Tucker (12-0) 16, East Paulding (8-4) 13
North Paulding (11-1) 35, Stephenson (9-3) 7

Class AAA
Ringgold (10-2) 37, Cedar Grove 12

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