The Altavista Colonels’ football team traveled down to Ringgold last Friday night and came away with a big 34-21 victory.
The Wildcats marched down the field with a promising opening drive that would be halted on a fumble recovery by Altavista’s Randle Ford. However, Dan River struck first later in the period as quarterback Jaidon Haynes found the endzone on a 4-yard TD run for an early 7-0 lead. The second quarter belonged to the Colonels. At first they tied the game at 7-7 after running back Marquel Dawkins (10 car. 51 yards 2 TD’s) found paydirt. Then, following a blocked punt that was recovered by Ross Farmer, the Colonels jumped ahead to a 14-7 lead as Dawkins darted untouched for a 25-yard TD run. Late in the half, the Altavista defense came up with another of their five takeaways as freshman Landon Brown made an outstanding interception off a deflected pass, shifting the momentum in the Colonels’ favor with excellent field position. Running back Makel Stone (93 yards rushing) added to the lead with a TD of his own to send Altavista into halftime with a 21-7 advantage.
Following a scoreless third quarter, both teams heated up in the final frame as the Wildcats closed the gap to 21-14 after tailback DJ Gregory raced 60 yards for the score with just under five minutes remaining. The Colonels answered with a solid drive that was capped off by a 4-yard TD scamper from quarterback Jordan Pippin to make the score 28-14 with just over a minute left in the game. Dan River had no intentions of going away quietly, as they quickly marched downfield and scored on a TD pass from Haynes to receiver Tylyric Coleman to cut it to 28-21 with just 20 seconds to go in the game. The Wildcats then recovered an onside kick at midfield and had a couple of shots at the endzone in the game’s final moments. The Colonels’ defense had one more big play left as cornerback Makel Stone picked off his second interception of the game and returned it to the house as time expired, sending the Colonels to an emphatic 34-21 victory, and their first triumph over Dan River since 2014.
Altavista (2-5) will have their bye week before returning to action October 22 against rival Gretna.