Rabbs top Tigers, 34-19, in Friday night action
Atlanta bounced back from a week one loss to top Daingerfield, 34-19, on the road.
This rivalry began in 1940 with Atlanta winning 10 straight between that time and 1954.
The Rabbits lead the all-time series 35-29-1 and have won the last five straight and six games out of seven between the two schools.
Atlanta made adjustments going into this contest and mixed up the plays quite a bit.
On the first drive alone receiver Austin Brown, running back Jawan King and quarterback Andy Samples picked up 62 yards combined on the ground after the Rabbs gained possession of the ball at the 38-yard line on the kickoff.
Brown collected five yards, King gained 17 and Samples 40 with the latter scampering into the endzone from 34 yards out to give Atlanta a, 6-0, lead with 10:24 left in the first frame.
Samples pitched the ball to King for a successful 2-point conversion which put the Rabbs up, 8-0.
Daingerfield also mixed up its play calling as they kept the Rabbit defense on their toes with a mixture of running and passing plays.
The Tigers also began their first drive from the 38 and in 10 plays scored with 6:25 left in the first quarter. The 2-point conversion was good and the score was knotted at, 8-8.
Atlanta began its second drive from the 32 and continued to move the ball on the ground with hard runs by Samples, King and Brown which included a 32-yard run by King on second down.
The drive stalled, however, after an incomplete pass and a sack forced Atlanta to go for it on fourth-and-long.
Samples hit Nick Washington for a 15-yard pickup but the play wasn’t enough for a first down so the Tigers took control from the 11-yard line with 1:19 left in the first stanza.
Daingerfield got in three plays before the end of the quarter.
The Tigers made it as far as the 37 but a big penalty backed them up to the 23-yard line where they fumbled the ball away to Atlanta with 9:48 left in the first half.
Atlanta took full advantage of the gifted field position and within three runs from the 22, King crossed the goal line from 1-yard out to put Atlanta up, 14-8, with 8:52 left in the quarter.
A missed field goal kept the score at, 14-8.
Both teams punted the ball away to each other on their next possessions, but Atlanta would recover another fumble at the 21-yard line with 5:06 left in the half.
The drive began a little shaky with Samples gaining nothing on the first play from scrimmage followed by a 5-yard penalty against the Rabbs, but on second-and-15 Samples hit Brown for a 25-yard touchdown with 4:22 showing on the clock.
Samples ran in the 2-point conversion and Atlanta was up, 22-8.
The Tigers ate up a little over three minutes of clock-time after grinding out a nine play drive which ended with a missed field goal attempt at the 1:19 mark.
A couple of small runs by Samples and King, and an 18-yard pass from Samples to Kade Wood put the Rabbs at the Tiger 48.
After an incomplete pass, Samples took off on the last play of the first half and gained 46 yards before being pushed out of bounds at the 2-yard line.
Unfortunately time had run out but Atlanta held a, 22-8, lead at the break.
The Tigers received the ball to open the second half and promptly took the pigskin from the 32 to Atlanta’s 35 after a huge 33-yard run.
Atlanta’s defense held however and the Tigers were forced to attempt a FG.
The kicker nailed the 33-yard attempt and the Tigers cut into Atlanta’s lead a bit.
With 8:40 left in the third quarter Atlanta was up just, 22-11.
The Rabbits wasted no time getting back on the board as they marched 71 yards in just seven plays.
On the drive Samples gained nine yards on the ground and King racked up 23 yards rushing, but the drive ended on a 39-yard touchdown strike from Samples to Brown.
The FG was no good but Atlanta increased its lead to, 28-11, with 6 minutes left in the quarter.
The Tigers began the next drive from the 16 and through a series of penalties and gained yards found the endzone with 25 seconds left in the third quarter.
The successful 2-point conversion made the score, 28-19.
Atlanta only ran off one play before the quarter ended.
The Rabbits ate up a considerable amount of clock-time to open the final frame with a 17-play drive which included penalties against both teams, 20 yards on the ground by King and 51 yards on the ground by Samples.
The final run was a 3-yard spurt by Samples into the endzone.
The FG was no good but Atlanta was up, 34-19, with 5:46 left in the contest.
The Tigers moved the ball to midfield and that’s where the next drive ended after an incomplete pass on fourth down with 3:27 left in the game.
The Rabbits ran out the clock after Drae Nelson gained 26 yards on the next drive in six plays on the ground.
Samples accounted for four scores as he racked up 152 yards on 19 carries with two TDs, and passed for two TDs after going 4-for-8 with 97 yards through the air.
King carried the ball 22 times for 131 yards and a touchdown, Brown gained eight yards and Nelson 26.
Brown pulled in two catches for 64 yards with two touchdowns, Wood had 18 yards receiving and Washington 15.
Atlanta has a BYE week this Friday, but will be back home Sept. 22, with Liberty-Eylau coming to town.
That game is set for 7:30 p.m. but is also Homecoming night which means the day will be arranged with festivities which includes a parade.
The Atlanta freshman traveled to Bullard last Thursday night to compete against the Panthers and came out on top, 18-0.
Outnumbered and outsized, the Rabbits came together as a team and competed valiantly until the final second left the clock. During the first half, the Rabbit defense shut the opposing offense out holding them scoreless on all five possessions.
The Rabbits scored on their second drive on the third play of the series after two big rushing gains by Kentrell Andrews, when Caleb Hamilton broke loose around the edge and ran 40 yards to the endzone making the score, 6-0.
After another defensive stand, Quarterback Damien Collins fought his way into the endzone from the 3-yard line to make the score, 12-0, at the half. The third quarter was a battle and ended with the same score of, 12-0.
During that quarter, Andrews punted to the 40-yard line and stopped a touchdown on the return by running across the field and knocking the ball carrier out of bounds with the “big hit” of the game.
During the fourth quarter, Andrews had several big rushing gains which set up the Rabbits’ next score.
With three minutes left in the game, quarterback Damien Collins rolled out to the his left looking for an open receiver then saw an opening and ran 42 yards to the endzone for the final score of the game.
The Atlanta defense took the field for the final drive and once again shut the Panthers down.
The Atlanta defense held the Panthers to four first downs the entire night as they shutout Bullard, 18-0.
Individual defensive stats were as follows: Trae Adams - eight tackles, two sacks and four TFL; Jordan Stiger - five tackles, one sack, four TFL and three hurries; Lakeceion Richardson - two tackles, two TFL, and one hurry; Tate Mitchell - two tackles, one sack, and one TFL; Tyrell King - three tackles, two TFL, and one hurry; Zachariah Jefferson - three tackles, one sack, one TFL and one hurry; Colin Morris - eight tackles, one sack, three TFL, one hurry, and two fumble recoveries; Kannon Hooten - seven tackles, two TFL, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery; Damien Collins - one tackle, one sack, and one fumble recovery; Michael Duckett - 10 tackles, three TFL, and one Interception; and Timothy Demery - one tackle, and one pass break up.