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SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2007
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Sophomore QB leads Elkmont into playoffs

By Paul Stackhouse
sports@decaturdaily.com 340-2460

TANNER — It was a night that Dylan Brazeal will remember vividly for the rest of his life.

Brazeal, in the final game of the regular season for the Elkmont High football team, received his first start at quarterback for the Red Devils.

The sophomore took advantage of his playing time by completing 9 of 12 passes for 166 yards with one passing touchdown and one rushing touchdown. The end result of his hard work was a 28-26 victory over county-rival Tanner.

Elkmont (5-5) will be going to the 3A playoffs for the first time since 1999. Brazeal said he is excited to be a part of the Red Devils' good fortune. Elkmont was in a three-way tie for third place in Region 8, but received a bid through the state's tiebreaker system.

"Our line did a great job," Brazeal said. "And our running backs did a great job. We executed like we needed to and made the big plays when we needed them like when we recovered the fumble in the fourth quarter. I knew we had a chance to win the game then.

"I'm really excited about winning this game and getting into the playoffs where we should be."

Midway through the fourth quarter with the Rattlers leading 26-21, Tanner fumbled, and the Red Devils recovered the ball at the Rattlers' 4.

Two plays later, running back Brandon Baker forced his
way into the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown run. With David Solomon's extra point, Elkmont secured the two-point victory.

"We hung in there like we needed to," Jacobs said. "We knew they had a tough team, and I think we were fortunate to do some things early that let us go up on them. This is such a big win for our kids. This is the first time that we're going to the playoffs since 1999 and this win should give us a big boost."

Elkmont is scheduled to play at Sardis on Friday night.

Tanner (6-4) is also headed to the 2A state playoffs, traveling to play Lineville on Friday.

On the second play of the game, Brazeal completed a 62-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Solomon to take a quick 7-0 lead.

Tanner retaliated on its first offensive possession as the Rattlers went 51 yards in 10 plays with Jarquise Peoples tying the game with a 20-yard touchdown run.

Peoples finished with 166 yards on 28 carries, scoring three rushing touchdowns.

Elkmont took a 14-7 lead going into the second period after Brazeal scored from 5 yards out on a quarterback draw. That score held going into intermission.

On Tanner's first offensive possession of the second half, the Rattlers cut the Red Devils' lead to 14-13 on a 2-yard scoring run by Derrick Malone.

The Rattlers held Elkmont to three offensive plays on the Red Devils' next set of downs. The ensuing punt was blocked with Tanner taking control of the ball on Elkmont's 21. On the first play, Peoples ran into the end zone, giving the Rattlers a 19-14 advantage.

Tanner's lead was short-lived as Ian Milan took the kickoff and returned it 84 yards for a touchdown and a 21-19 Elkmont lead.

Once again, the lead changed hands late in the third quarter as Tanner took a 26-21 lead on a 1-yard run by Peoples. That score held going into the final period.

With 6:15 remaining in the game, Elkmont took advantage of the Tanner fumble with Baker scoring from the 4 for the final margin of victory.

Tanner coach Laron White said his Rattlers played a tough game and will enter next week's game extremely positive.

"It was a real battle the whole game," White said. "We came out sluggish in the first half and we came out and dominated the game in the second half. The turnover late really hurt us, but overall we played a real tough game.

"We're not going to change anything in practice getting ready for Lineville. They put us out in the second round of the playoffs last year, but we're going to play our regular style against them and do the things we need to do to win."

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