It was all Coffee County during the season opener Tuesday, as the middle school Red Raiders scored early and often and soundly picked up a 34-12 win over Tullahoma.
Cole Pippenger led the way for the Red Raiders, putting up four touchdowns in the victory. The Coffee County quarterback rushed 151 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries. Pippenger also completed three of his five pass attempts for 74 yards and a touchdown.
Tullahoma’s offense struggled for consistency the entire night, finishing with 153 total yards. The Wildcats scored a first-half touchdown on a 76-yard kickoff return by Andrew Ewing. Late in the ballgame, Tullahoma added another score, as Justis Haggard broke free for a 60-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Haggard led the Wildcats with 97 yards on six carries. Ryan Denby added 36 yards rushing on 10 carries.
Coffee County got the scoring started early with a touchdown on its first drive. Pippenger capped off the five-play, 57-yard drive with a 26-yard rushing score to put the Red Raiders in front. Manny Gonzalez, who missed just one point after touchdown kick, drilled the extra point to give Coffee County a 7-0 lead with 6:18 remaining in the first quarter.
After Tullahoma fumbled the ball away late in the first quarter, the Red Raiders took over at the Wildcats’ 31-yard line. One play later, Pippenger connected with Caiden Martin on short pass. Martin was able to break free down the middle of the field for the score, putting Coffee County in front 14-0 with 1:08 left in the first period.
Tullahoma answered back with a touchdown seconds later. After fielding the ball at his team’s 24-yard line, Ewing cut down the left side line of the field, reaching the end zone.
The Wildcats elected to go for a 2-point conversion, but it was unsuccessful. Mason Bratcher’s pass was incomplete on the extra-point attempt, and Tullahoma trailed 14-6 with 57 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Coffee County added another score before halftime and led 21-6 at the halftime break. With 4:35 left in the second quarter, Pippenger rushed for a 12-yard touchdown that capped off a 74-yard, nine-play drive.
Caiden Martin and Pippenger each reached the end zone one more time before Tuesday’s contest concluded. Caiden Martin scored first, rushing for a 6-yard touchdown with 4:18 remaining in the third quarter.
After completing a 40-yard pass to Tyler Martin, Pippenger held on to the football, rushing for a 2-yard touchdown with 5:17 left in the contest. Gonzalez’s extra point attempt was blocked to make the score 34-6.
Just before time expired, Tullahoma added one final touchdown. Haggard broke free down the right sideline for a 60-yard touchdown run with 48 seconds remaining in the ballgame.
Once again, the Wildcats elected to go for a 2-point conversion, but were unsuccessful. Hunter Hogan’s pass was incomplete, making the score 34-12.
Tullahoma passed for just 16 yards against the Red Raiders on Tuesday. All of those yards were tallied by Bratcher who completed four of his 10 pass attempts.
Coffee County totaled 251 yards in the win, the bulk of which came on the ground. The Red Raiders rushed for 177 yards and had 74 passing yards.
Following Tuesday’s win, Coffee County (1-0) will head to Harris on Aug. 25. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.