Alvin stiff arms

Elba’s Alvin Henderson (6) applies a stiff arm to a Ranburne defender in the big first round playoff win. Henderson was a workhorse for the Tigers in the game as he rushed for 203 yards and scored four touchdowns on just nine carries.

The Elba Tigers continued their winning ways Friday night, Nov. 5, with a big 55-28 win over the Ranburne Bulldogs, in first round action in the Class 2A football playoffs, at Tiger Stadium.

Elba began its initial possession of the game at the Ranburne 32-yardline after a 34-yard kickoff return by Alvin Henderson and from there needed only two plays to get into the endzone. Two penalties backed the Tigers up to the Bulldogs 37, but it made little difference as Henderson got the call and raced 37 yards for a score. Alex Wisecup kicked the extra-point as the Tigers led 7-0 with10:28 remaining in the first quarter.

Ranburne began its initial possession at its own 16-yardline and promptly went 84 yards in six plays to cut into the early Elba advantage. A 76-yard pass from Shaun Swafford to Tyler Craft was a key play in the long scoring drive, while the Bulldogs touchdown came on a 9-yard pass from Swafford to Jaxon Langley. A two-point pass missed its target, and with 6:08 left in the quarter the Tigers lead stood at 7-6.

Elba began its ensuing possession at its own 37-yardline and this time the Tigers went 63 yards in six plays to extend their lead. Alvin Henderson rushed for 38 yards on three carries and scored the Tigers touchdown on a 26-yard dash, and Wisecup again added the extra-point as Elba upped its lead to 14-6 with 3:29 left in the quarter.

Ranburne put the ball in play at the Elba 35-yardline early in the second quarter after a bad snap on a punt attempt and the Bulldogs took advantage of the short field to get back into the endzone. The score came on a 35-yard pass from Swafford to Langley, and while a two-point pass failed to find its target, the Bulldogs were within 14-12 with 11:46 left in the second quarter.

Elba began its next offensive series at its own 20-yardline and this time it took the Tigers only one play to cover the distance as on first down Alvin Henderson reached the sidelines and raced 80 yards for a touchdown. Alex Wisecup booted the extra-point, and with 10:58 left in the half the Tigers lead was 21-12.

Elba got the ball back at the Bulldogs 44-yardline after a Ranburne punt, and once again it took the Tigers only one play to reach paydirt, as Alvin Henderson took the direct snap and rambled 44 yards for his fourth touchdown of the game. Wisecup added the extra-point as Elba’s lead grew to 28-12 with 9:03 left in the half.

Ranburne put the ball in play near midfield to begin its ensuing possession and the Bulldogs again cut into the Elba advantage as the Bulldogs went 51 yards in three plays to score their third touchdown of the half. The score came on a 47-yard pass from Kaide Garrett to Tyler Craft, and Kaleb Benefield ran in the two-point conversion to pull the Bulldogs within 28-20 with 7:17 still left in the stanza.

Elba began its ensuing possession at its own 44-yardline and the Tigers went 56 yards in six plays to increase its advantage. Byron Burks rushed for 49 yards on three carries and scored the Tigers touchdown on a 25-yard gallop, and Wisecup again added the extra-point to push Elba’s lead to 35-20 with 5:13 remaining in the half.

Elba put the ball in play at midfield to open the second half after an on-sides kick and went 50 yards in four plays to extend its advantage. Chrystyile Caldwell scored on a 35-yard run along the sidelines, and Wisecup’s extra-point try was true as the Tigers lead grew to 42-20 with 10:07 left in the third quarter.

Elba began its next series at its own 19-yardline after a Bulldogs punt, and after a loss on first down surprised the Ranburne defense when Brayden Johnson dropped off a screen pass to JT Coleman, and the speedy Tiger receiver raced 86 yards down the middle of the field to blow the game open. Wisecup added the extra-point, and with 6:33 left in the quarter Elba was finally in command with a 49-20 lead.

Elba got the ball right back at the Ranburne 31-yardline on a pass interception by Byron Burks, and from there took the Tigers only three plays to get back into the endzone. Brayden Johnson capped the short scoring drive with a 20-yard touchdown run, and while the extra-point attempt failed, Elba’s lead had ballooned to 55-20 with 4:32 still left in the third quarter.

Ranburne’s final touchdown of the night came on a 97-yard drive in the game’s closing minutes. Kaide Garrett rushed for 23 yards and passed for 23 yards to lead the Bulldogs the length of the field, while the touchdown came on a 7-yard run by Jaydon Williams. Austin Olds passed to Tyler Craft for the two-point conversion, and with 30-seconds left on the clock the Tigers had the 55-28 win wrapped up.

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