After winning Class 4A state championships in 2008 and 2011, the defending State champion Tucker Tigers opened the 2012 season breaking in a number of things from a bump up in classification to Class 5A, a new head coach and young football team. Bryan Lamar, a Tucker alum, is now at the controls of the Tucker football program after former head coach Franklin Stephens left for Lamar County after the 2011 championship season.
Chattahoochee, who won the Class 4A state championship in 2010 defeating Starr’s Mill, entered tonight’s scrimmage against Tucker adjusting to some new things as well as they also were bumped up in classification for 4A from 6A.
Chattahoochee opened the scoring on a 1-yard TD run by C.J. Leggett for a 7-0 Cougars lead. On the Tucker’s next possession they fumbled it and Chattahoochee’s Brian Sykes picked it up racing 51 yards for another Cougars TD and a 13-7 lead after the extra point failed.
Tucker opened the second quarter by putting together a 70-plus yard drive capping it with an 11-yard TD run by quarterback Juwaan Williams cutting the Cougar lead to 13-7 with 5:52 left in the quarter. That was the only scoring drive in the quarter for either team so 13-7 it was at the break.
The second half began much like the first half ended, vanilla coverages and coaches not reaching too deep into the playbook. The squads exchanged possessions most of the quarter until Tucker drove it 83 yards quickly. Yusef Minor got the Tigers going late in the third quarter ripping off a 30-yard run that included flashes of his speed and power, to the Tucker 47. On the next play Williams hit Dominic Sanders for a 53-yard TD pass giving Tucker a 14-13 lead with 1:44 left in the third that stood for the final. The fourth quarter featured the JV squads getting some game experience playing out the game with a running clock.
“We played young and played inexperienced, we have a long way to go. We have a lot of new guys in there and we played like we had a lot of new guys in there’, Tucker head coach Bryan Lamar said.
Lamar added that they have a pretty decent junior class noting that they were inexperienced and he would be looking for leadership from a few key players.
“Our quarterback Juwaan Williams, he’s going to be a leader. He’s a guy that gets in there and works and he’s surrounded by some new guys and he’s got to continue to lead and continue to come and work everyday. Solomon Jackson is a two-way player, a senior, were depending on him to get it going for us on both sides of the ball, mainly those two guys are the guys that have to get it going for us”, Lamar added.
Jackson and junior Deitrick Dukes each recorded a sack and were in a number of plays for the Tiger defense most of the night.
Tucker opens the regular season in two weeks against Cedar Grove, a team led by highly rated quarterback Johnathan McCrary, at Hallford Stadium in Clarkston, Ga.