In a sport that highlights considerable throws, crushing hits and clutch catches, very rarely is something as mundane as strategy or game-planning the highlight of a football game.

In a matchup that totaled 82 points scored between the two teams, West Blocton's 52-30 victory over Holt came down to which team was going to execute their game plan over the other. Both offensive units found success through sticking with their strengths, which caused matchup problems for the defenses.

The Tigers' potent triple-option offense established a successful ground game that led 536 total yards of offense. West Blocton opted to throw the ball three times throughout the game, with two of those throws resulting in touchdowns.

"We've actually ran the triple option since 1991," West Blocton head coach, Eric Hiott said. "We got away from it in [2017] but we went back to it and it's hard to defend. But we try to be more physical than anything [else], we try to pound, make people submit and control the ball."

The Tigers quest to control the ball worked. In three of their seven scoring drives, West Blocton used at least nine plays to reach the end zone. With a tired and depleted defense, Tiger running backs sophomore Hunter Brand and senior Lewis Caden Blake, eclipsed the 100 yard plateau and each registered a touchdown with Brand scoring two.

"Having small numbers [means] you can't get best guys on best guys and you don't get the best looks on scout team," Holt head coach, Curtis Graves said when asked about the challenges of facing West Blocton's triple-option offense. "We [as] coaches have to find a creative way to get the best on best and get the best looks."

Despite lacking depth, the Ironmen continued to put up points in the second half as they consistently found their long and quick wide receivers in space against one-on-one coverage.

Holt narrowed a 21-point deficit down to 14 thanks to back-to-back fourth quarter drives that resulted in touchdown catches for junior wide receiver Melvin Rollins. The 6-foot-1 receiver found success in man coverage by using his frame to shield the ball away from the Tigers defenders while he was in the air.

"I've been waiting for him to grow up [mentally,]" Graves said. "He's been [that size] since he was a freshman and I have been waiting for to grow up mentally and be a guy that can make plays. So the bright spot after all of that is that our offense scored."

Rollins finished the game with seven catches for 177 yards and two touchdowns in the loss.

"It is hard to match their speed on the perimeter," Hiott said. "They're loaded with good talent. Several of those long passes, we are in position but they just out jumped us."

West Blocton (3-1, 2-0) will take their two-game winning streak on the road next week to take on Dallas County. Holt will once again play at the Woody Clements Field where they will host Paul Bryant High School.

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