Gardendale, AL – The Tabernacle Torches (1-3) roasted arch rival Tuscaloosa Christian (1-3) 64-55 Friday night at Mac Sanderson Field to earn their first victory in CFA play. The win marked the Torches fourth consecutive victory over their foes from T-town.
It was a night of firsts for the young Torches squad, in addition to notching their first conference win of 2020, head coach Clint Chase earned his first victory at the helm of the TCS program.
“Winning means that one is willing to go longer, work harder, think faster, and give more than anyone else… That is what these Torches did tonight, and I am a very proud Coach”, Chase said following the high scoring contest, “However, we have not arrived and we have a long row to hoe, so we will continue to press towards perfection, and stay humble.”
The Torches held a commanding 48-27 advantage at the end of the first half but saw that lead dwindle to a 48-39 edge heading into the fourth. The Warriors sliced into the Tabernacle lead thanks to a pair of long scoring strikes by freshman running back Luke Jones.
Tabernacle senior signal caller Drew Peters lead the Torches the on ground with 157 yards on 26 carries while connecting on 10-of-13 passes for 163 yards and accounting for three scores. He added nine tackles and an interception on the other side of the ball.
Peters favorite target through the air was receiver Daniel McCormick, the sophomore hauled in eight receptions for 94 yards and a pair of touchdowns including a 50 yard reception for a score while pitching in seven tackles on defense.
Sophomore playmaker Clinton Chase returned a second quarter kick 70 yards for a score while turning in a clutch performance on both sides of the ball. On offense he hauled in a reception in the 2nd quarter on 4th and eight and dashed 42 yards for a score. On defense he picked-off a potential game saving touchdown pass late in the forth returning it 16 yards handing the late game momentum back to the Torches. He finished the night with eight tackles while rushing for eight yards on three carries and hauling in four Peters passes for 66 yards.
Trae Andrews was the second Torch to go over the century mark on the ground pilling up 100 yards on 17 carries and scoring a pair of rushing touchdowns. He pitched in five stops on defense.
Senior Lane Jones added five tackles for the Torches, Logan Bartlett made two stops while Reed Chase and Jacob Beasley added four apiece.
The victory gave the Torches a 17-7 series advantage over the Warriors in the battle of traditional CFA powers.
The road to the postseason won’t get any easier for the Torches as they welcome defending CFA champion Russell Christian (MS) to Gardendale next Friday night.