In the first round of the Class 2A Alabama High School Playoffs, the 8-2 Knights of Tuscaloosa Academy took down the Red Bay Tigers by a score of 35-16. With this win, the Knights will be advancing to the second round while the Tigers season ends.

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On the first drive of the game, both teams exchanged not touchdowns but interceptions. First, the Tigers got the ball all the way inside the Knights 30 before getting picked off. The Knights, on the other hand, had a few plays before a ball sailed due to the rain.

The first touchdown of the night was the Knights in the final seconds of the first quarter. Junior quarterback Preston Lancaster had himself a night and it started off nice with a five-yard pass to wide receiver Mills Powell for seven.

Red Bay had some good things going on offense with their power run game, but when TA forced the Tigers to throw the ball, this is where you saw the flaws of the offense. When the run game was not working, Red Bay could not find a passing lane.

Due to this Red Bay punted and gave the ball right back to the Knights. Lancaster capitalized on his defense performance by throwing his second touchdown pass of the night. Just like last time, it was Powell, this time however it was a 9-yard passing TD.

After two touchdowns by TA, Red Bay said enough was enough and responded right back. After mixing in some play action, Red Bay got all the way down to the three-yard line before runningback Keeton Lanphear punched it in for six.

With less than four minutes left to go in the half, Red Bay was just trying to hold TA to no points and regroup for the second half. Unlike Red Bay, TA had other plans. Lancaster led yet another touchdown drive and threw his third touchdown pass of the night before the half. This time running back Nic Evans took a swing pass 22 yards for the TD.

Coming out of halftime, the Knights knew if they scored one more touchdown they could ice the game and put the game into cruise control. Lancaster and the offense took that personally and drove 75 yards in a little under two and a half minutes. With 9:44 left in the third, TA takes the opening drive all the way down to the seve. Lancaster threw his fourth TD of the night and Nic Evans caught the ball and scored his second TD.

To put one last icing on the cake, Tuscaloosa Academy scored once more.  Evans scored his third TD of the night and first rushing touchdown from 11 yards out to get to the final score for TA.

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The Tigers would score once more with a Gage Edgman QB snew from one yard out but it was too little too late for Red Bay. Tuscaloosa Academy moves on to most likely play another home game next week while Red Bay sadly ends their season in the first round of the playoffs.

TA vs Red Bay 2023 First Round Playoffs

Gallery Credit: JD Zasa

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Gallery Credit: SEC Media

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