Thompson rolls past Oak Mountain, moves to 4-0

Published 10:47 pm Friday, September 22, 2017

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

NORTH SHELBY – For the first time since 1992, the Thompson Warriors are 4-0 after routing the Oak Mountain Eagles 49-14 at Heardmont Park on Sept. 22 while continuing their streak of averaging more than 500 yards per game.

Thanks to a near-perfect performance from junior quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, who completed 26-of-32 passing attempts for 404 yards and five touchdowns, the Warriors racked up 501 total yards in the dominating effort. The game marked the first time Thompson has downed region foe Oak Mountain since 2009.

“I feel blessed and so happy for the kids. We felt like we needed to come in and redeem ourselves for the last couple of years, offensively for sure,” said THS head coach Mark Freeman. “It’s hard to play against them the whole game and not lose your discipline.

“We’ve just got to keep getting better. We’re not perfect, and we’ve got a long way to go,” Freeman added. “But our kids are growing, and I’m very happy with our players.”

The Warriors (4-0, 3-0 in Class 7A, Region 3), wasted no time in lighting up the scoreboard, as Tagovailoa connected with Ahmad Edwards on a 92-yard touchdown strike on the first play from scrimmage.

Oak Mountain (3-2, 1-2) answered two possessions later, when Ethan Duncan found the end zone from 1 yard out to tie the game at 7-all.

From there, Thompson opened an offensive onslaught, adding two rushing touchdowns from Shad Byrd on runs of 4 and 2 yards and a 10-yard passing touchdown from Tagovailoa to Michael Pettway to take a 28-7 halftime lead.

After converting a fourth-and-9 to keep its first drive of the second half alive, Oak Mountain scored when quarterback Connor Webb kept the ball for a 2-yard touchdown scamper.

Tagovailoa added three more touchdowns in the third quarter on a 20-yard pass to Byrd, a 44-yard pass to Mo Edwards and a 3-yard pass to Mo Edwards.

Ahmad Edwards led the Warriors in receptions, reeling in 14 passes for 228 yards and a touchdown. Mo Edwards had seven catches for 129 yards and two touchdowns, Pettway had two catches for 24 yards and a touchdown and Byrd had two catches for 22 yards and a touchdown.

The Warriors’ defensive leaders were Jalen Rayam, who had nine tackles, a sack and an interception, and K.J. Robertson, who had 4.5 tackles, a sack and an interception.

Webb completed 14 of 22 passing attempts for 158 yards. Trey Allen caught three passes for 48 yards, Ethan Duncan reeled in four passes for 47 yards and Carson Bobo had five catches for 41 yards.

Garrison Finch led the Eagles’ defense, recording 6.5 tackles.