ELBA -- Hosting a first round playoff game is within reach for Elba after the Tigers crushed Georgiana, 50-26, Friday night.
With the win, Elba (5-3, 4-1) remains No. 2 seed in the region and gets ready for two more region games against Red Level and McKenzie. Both teams are at the bottom of Region 2.
Elba’s Ja’quez Prince threw for 164 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for another -- all in the first half.
The game was competitive until Elba poured it on late in the second quarter.
Up 12-8 with just over 5 minutes remaining in the half, Elba’s Collin Harrison carried the ball five times on a six-play drive and went 79 yards on those carries, including a seven-yard score with 3:20 left. Prince was off the mark on the two-point try to make the score 18-8.
On the ensuing kickoff, Georgiana lost control of the ball and Kenneth Qualls pounced on it for the Tigers at the Panthers’ 32.
One play later, Prince found Chrystyile Caldwell between the safeties on a 32-yard deep ball for a score. Harrison rushed for a successful two-point try for Elba to take a 26-8 lead.
Georgiana could only manage eight yards in four tries on their ensuing drive and turned the ball over on downs to Elba near midfield.
Prince and the Tiger offense responded by engineering their best drive of the night. Prince rushed for 18 yards on the first play, carrying defenders along the sideline. Seth Ware ran for 12 yards on the next play, and on the following two plays Prince found Caldwell on a 10-yard strike and then tossed another TD as time expired in the half. He connected with Ware for the two-point conversion to bring the score to 34-8.
The Panthers got the ball in the second half and threatened to make a game of it when quarterback Azenda Pennington scampered for 40 yards and then launched a 16-yard TD strike. His pass failed to connect on the two-point conversion attempt, and the score was 34-14.
Elba quickly dashed any hopes of a Georgiana comeback as tailback Iverson Lane broke off a 34-yard run to set up a four-yard touchdown from Harrison, and Prince connected with Caldwell for two more points. With 6:19 remaining in the third quarter, Elba held a commanding 42-14 lead.
Georgiana added another score with 5:07 left in the game on a 79-yard bomb as a Panther receiver got behind the defense, and the Panthers also scored with 30 seconds left in the game on an 11-yard pass. The two-point conversion attempts after both touchdowns were unsuccessful.
Between those scores, Elba’s Justin Coleman ripped off a 34-yard run followed by a 10-yard TD and a two-point conversion.
The Tigers had over 400 yards of offense, 272 on the ground.
Harrison ran 12 times for 102 yards and two touchdowns.