Elkmont’s first season-opening victory since 2014 was a thriller.
Quarterback John Adam Doner Jr. scored the eventual game-winning touchdown with 6:15 left in the game against Sheffield, and the Red Devils thwarted a Bulldogs’ red-zone opportunity minutes later, preserving a 30-29 road victory with an interception at the 2-yard line.
“Our guys are pumped, as they should be. We already have as many wins as we did last year. This is a completely different team,” said Elkmont coach Chris Bunio, whose team snapped an eight-game losing streak. “This team has a great work ethic and a tough mentality. It showed tonight.”
Elkmont’s defense allowed only seven points in the second half, rallying from deficits of 22-7, 22-15 and 29-15 throughout.
Doner Jr. also tossed a passing touchdown to Brandon Farris.
Receiver Lincoln Doner added a pair of rushing scores for Elkmont, which earned its first win against Sheffield since 2009.
Elkmont (1-0) plays its home opener on Friday, Sept. 1, hosting Brindlee Mountain.
Lauderdale County 27, Tanner 21
Lauderdale County registered a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns and withstood Tanner down the stretch, winning its fourth consecutive season opener.
Senior Skylar Townsend and sophomore Endymion Tyus each notched receiving touchdowns for Tanner, and Tailan Hall added a rushing score.
The Rattlers held a 14-6 lead at the half.
Lauderdale County (1-0) responded with 21 unanswered points over the next two quarters, ultimately building a 27-14 advantage with 5:40 to go in the game.
Tanner (0-1) got within six points with 4:04 remaining, making it 27-21.
Tanner’s next game is Thursday at Mae Jemison.