PREP FOOTBALL: Cold Springs falls to Tarrant late, 24-20

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Cold Springs’ Lawson Burgess (22) lays out for a catch during the Eagles’ 24-20 loss to Tarrant. (Martha Needham for The Cullman Tribune)

BREMEN, Ala. – Cold Springs took on Tarrant on senior night Friday, and it was a crucial region game for the Eagles if they had any hopes of hosting a playoff game. Unfortunately, though, turnovers hurt them, and the Wildcats came back late to win the game, 24-20.

Cold Springs got the ball to start out the game but turned the ball over on a fumble on the first play. The defense got a huge fourth-down stop on its opening possession, and the offense took over at the 14 on its second series. An 83-yard touchdown run by Ayden Alexander got taken off the scoreboard because of a sideline warning on the Eagles. After an offsides penalty moved the ball to the 3, Roberto Ayala found the end zone on the next play to put Cold Springs on the scoreboard first with 8:03 remaining in the opening period.

Tarrant tied the game up at 6 on its next series on a 39-yard touchdown run. Alexander fumbled the ball on the first play, but the Eagle defense forced a punt on the next series. Cold Springs looked to get something going, and it did on the ground, picking up a pair of first downs, but it quickly went backward, turning the ball over on downs.

After a Tarrant punt, Alexander fumbled yet again, but the defense forced another punt. After back-to-back punts, the Eagles looked for a spark offensively. On a third-and-13 from the 36, Brodi Williams found Lawson Burgess for a 26-yard gain, putting them at the 10, then Ayala took it in from there on the next play to give Cold Springs a 14-6 lead with 1:53 remaining in the first half. Back-to-back interceptions to end the half kept the score at 14-6 at the break.

The defense continued to shut down Tarrant, forcing a punt on its opening series of the second half. A huge 23-yard run by Ayala put Cold Springs at the 7, but an illegal block in the back flag moved the ball back to the 20-yard line. Two plays later, Williams found Burgess for a 20-yard score to increase the Eagles’ lead to 20-6 with 7:26 remaining in the third period. Tarrant quickly struck on its first play of the series on an 80-yard touchdown run to make it 20-12 just 19 seconds later.

Another Alexander fumble later led to a 20-yard touchdown pass for the Wildcats as they cut the Cold Springs lead to 20-18 with 1:21 remaining in the quarter. An interception, followed by a turnover-on-downs, saw the Eagles get the ball back, but Williams got sacked on fourth down, forcing them to turn the ball over. A 19-yard touchdown run saw Tarrant take a 24-20 lead with 7:48 remaining in the contest.

The Eagles got the ball back as they looked to get the lead right back. Behind some huge runs by Ayala and Alexander, plus a 12-yard pass from Williams to Burgess, they saw themselves at the 15-yard line, but they fell just 2 yards short on a fourth-and-10 play. Cold Springs fell to Tarrant, 24-20.

Williams finished 8-of-16 for 80 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. Alexander added 155 yards on 18 carries, and Ayala finished with 66 yards on 11 carries and a pair of scores. Burgess ended up with 69 yards on five receptions and a touchdown. Dylan Gable added an interception on the defensive side of the ball. The loss drops Cold Springs to 4-4 overall and 3-2 in the region. The Eagles are now tied for third place in the region with Tarrant.

The Eagles will look to quickly clean up their turnovers next week before their final region game of the season at Sulligent.

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