A wavering edge and 105 points scored in Friday night’s football game between the Choctawhatchee Indians and Tate Aggies resulted in a 63-42 win for the Aggies on their home field for Senior Night.
Despite the Aggies taking a 28-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, the Indians offense pressured the Aggies up until the last few minutes of the game.
“Our offense kept putting points on the board and defense made a couple of key stops,” said senior quarterback Jake Henry, the Appalachian State commit. “The offensive line was blocking non-stop, hitting the man in the mouth and playing for pride. We came away with a good win.”
The Indians scored on the first possession of the game when senior quarterback Isaac Smith passed to junior Ismael Rivera, who shook off a defender to score a touchdown only one minute into the game.
It was a sign of things to come.
Tate responded quickly when Henry rushed 50 yards downfield for an Aggie touchdown, tying the score after the extra point.
An interception by sophomore cornerback Patrick Palmer led to another Aggie touchdown when a pass from Henry was caught by senior running back Corey Moorer.
The Aggies lead did not last long as Choctaw answered with another touchdown just 30 seconds before the second quarter, tying the game 14-14.
The Indians took their second lead of the game at the beginning of the second quarter with a touchdown by senior running back Marquise Kane.
Henry responded by escaping the Indian defense once again and scoring a touchdown on a 60-yard run, the start of a series of Aggie touchdowns.
The Aggie defense forced the ball back into the hands of their offense. A completed pass in the end zone from Henry to junior wide receiver Ladarryl Paige gave the Aggies a 28-21 lead with just over two minutes left in the half.
The Indians again failed to score on their next possession, while Tate did not waste any time. A 40-yard completed pass from Henry to senior wide receiver Rodriguez Smith left the Aggies on the 14-yard-line with 36 seconds remaining in the half. After a few rushes and a first down, Henry found Smith once again, in the corner of the end zone for another Aggie touchdown and a 35-21 halftime lead for Tate.
The Aggies scored their fourth consecutive touchdown at the beginning of the second half, when Henry rushed for a 70-yard touchdown.
Moorer caught his second touchdown pass of the game from Henry with just under seven minutes left in the third quarter, giving the Aggies a 28-point lead, the largest margin of the game.
Choctaw broke the Aggie touchdown streak when junior wide receiver Zailes Alexander brushed off the Tate defense to score the Indians fourth touchdown of the game.
The Tate offense responded quickly when Paige caught his second touchdown pass of the game from Henry. Tate once again had a 28-point lead, which they retained until the start of the fourth quarter.
Junior quarterback Brady Ooten scored for the Indians at the start of the fourth quarter.
The Indians regain possession after the touchdown with an onside kick that was recovered by Choctaw with 10 minutes remaining on the clock. After five minutes of play, junior running back Zakk Childers scored for the Indians, leaving them only two scores behind the Aggies.
Choctaw attempted another onside kick after the score, but the Aggies gained possession for the first time in the quarter.
“You never get relaxed with a team like them and a program like Choctaw,” Tate head coach Jay Lindsey said. “They’re not going to quit. They’re going to play until the end. So of course you get worried but at the same time, someone has got to make a play and we came up with the football.”
Henry struck again when he broke free from the Choctaw defense for a 50-yard run. He followed this play with a 5-yard rush in which he leaped over the defense into the end zone. The ensuing extra point was the last score of the game.
In a football game with over 100 points scored, the Aggies came out on top with a final score of 63-42.
“I think we just executed on offense,” said Lindsey who is on his second season as head coach. “We put up 63 points and executed our game plan well. As for defense, I thought the effort was there, Choctaw has a hard nose football team and they didn’t quit so I give them a lot of credit. This was a good football game.”
The Aggies, now 7-2, play at Pine Forest in Week 10 with a spot in the playoffs on the line. Both teams have lost to Escambia and a win in this matchup would lock up second place in the district.