Thompson rolls in dominant playoff win against Florence

Published 11:32 pm Friday, November 5, 2021

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By SETH HAGAN | Special to the Reporter

ALABASTER – With starting quarterback Conner Harrell unable to join his teammates as they began their playoff run, the rest of the Warriors stepped up and delivered a dominant win over the Florence Falcons on Friday, Nov. 5 by a score of 49-10.

Thompson’s offense scored touchdowns on each of their first seven drives, while the defense forced punts on six consecutive three-and-outs and stopped a fake punt attempt in the first half to shut the door on the Falcons.

Brandon Franklin scored two touchdowns before halftime and got the Warriors going with a 5-yard touchdown run with 8:40 to go in the first quarter.

Justin Pegues was sensational in do-it-all fashion. The senior running back led Thompson in rushing, receiving and even took a snap as a wildcat QB dazzling the fans and racking up yards.

His first big play led to the Warriors’ second touchdown as he took a short pass from quarterback Zach Sims, juked a couple of defenders, then cut back across the field eluding more Falcons and catching a couple of timely blocks from his teammates for an amazing 55-yard touchdown.

That began a poised night for Sims in his starting debut for Thompson.

A perfect example came on Thompson’s next score. After being sacked in the red zone, Sims bounced back with a perfect touchdown pass to Jaylen Ward in the corner of the end zone. It was Ward’s 10th touchdown of the season as he high-pointed the ball perfectly, bringing both feet down in bounds.

The junior took a few sacks in the game but completed eight of his nine passes in the first half for 157 yards and two touchdowns with no turnovers.

He finished the game 9-of-10 for 176 yards.

Pegues also struck again in the second quarter, this time on the ground, as he shook a tackle and darted 39 yards for his second and final touchdown of the night to put the Warriors ahead 27-0.

He finished with 98 yards rushing and 55 yards receiving in the win.

Brandon Franklin rushed for 46 yards on nine attempts with his two touchdowns.

Sophomore running back AJ Green scored Thompson’s final two touchdowns and went for 36 yards on five runs.

Thompson’s defense gave up just 31 yards on 23 plays in the first half, had six tackles for loss in that same span and made sure Florence never seriously threatened.

Tre’Quon Fegans picked off his third interception of the season and the 13th of his career during the win, while Jax Van Zandt led the team with five tackles. Jeremiah Alexander added three tackles with one for loss.

Thompson will host Oak Mountain in next week’s quarterfinal rematch with their county rival Friday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m.