The idea of a “rebuilding year” for the Tate Aggies can be thrown in the trash.
Though the season is young like the Aggies, Tate showed not only can they hang with the area’s top teams — they can win.
Despite fumbling on the opening drive and falling into a 14-0 hole, Tate rallied in the second quarter and continued to apply pressure for a 42-28 win over the West Florida Jaguars.
“I’m just proud of our kids — we’ve practiced as hard as you can the past four weeks; we put ourselves in a position to expect adversity,” Tate coach Jay Lindsey said. “We showed that Tate is still here. Our kids believe, play hard each night and love one another. We’ve still got a lot to work on … because we are young.”
The Jags jumped out to a two-touchdown lead in the first quarter, using balanced offense (TD run by Devin Abrams, TD pass from Erick Antoine to Keyshawn Helton).
When Daquarius Daniels intercepted a trick play, WR pass by Tate inside the Jaguars red zone, it seemed West Florida had good a chance to run away with it.
But Tate’s Corey Moorer was the one who planned on doing the majority of the running.
The senior accounted for three touchdowns on the night, the first two to tie the ball game at 14.
Moorer’s first two touchdowns created a pattern with Tate defensive back Reid Halfacre — who picked off a pass following each of Moorer’s first two scores to flip the momentum.
“It is what it is, we studied their (West Florida’s) routes all week — we came out and performed on Friday night,” Halfacre said. “We knew it was going to be tough coming out here. We have the biggest heart of any defense around here. We don’t give up and we make clutch plays.”
To jazz the Aggies up more, Moorer pounded in a TD with less than a minute until halftime to stun West Florida and lift Tate to a 21-14 lead.
The Aggies opened up the second half with a pair of touchdown runs from Ladarryl Paige (10 yards, 12 yards), while West Florida’s Damond Johnson hauled in a TD pass to bring the score to 35-21.
“I hate practicing against them (Tate’s running backs),” Halfacre joked. “They hit me hard every day. But they are out their getting us (defense) better and we try to help them get better.”
After a 30-yard touchdown on the QB keeper by Jake Henry, Tate put the game out of reach.