Jeremiah Moore

Jeremiah Moore (31) scores against Elba.

The Daleville Warhawks (0-1) and Elba Tigers (1-0) opened the season in Warhawk Stadium on Friday, Aug. 20, with the Tigers coming away with a 41-14 win.

While the final score may look lopsided, the Tigers held on to a slight 14-6 lead at halftime and Daleville actually scored first. In fact, Daleville had the ball in Elba’s territory other times inside the Tiger red-zone.

Daleville’s first drive of the game ate up more than 10 minutes of game time as the Warhawks marched on a 17-play, 73-yard drive that was capped off by a 3-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Omarion Pinckney to junior fullback Jeremiah Moore. The two-point try failed but Daleville earned a 6-0 lead, which is the first lead Daleville has had in a game since 2019.

As the second quarter began, Elba tied things up with a 27-yard scoring pass from Brayden Johnson to Alvin Henderson. The PAT gave Elba a 7-6 lead.

After Daleville’s ensuing drive stalled out near midfield, the Tigers fumbled Daleville’s punt and the Warhawks recovered it on the Elba side of the field. The Warhawks drove down to the Elba 4-yard line following a 24-yard pass from Pinckney to Moore. Unfortunately, for Daleville, the Tiger defense stiffened and forced a turnover on downs.

Elba’s Chrystyile Caldwell then galloped to a 44-yard touchdown run to put the Tigers ahead 14-6 late in the second quarter.

Moore bulled his way through the Tiger defense on his way to a 48-yard run inside the 10-yard line with just seconds remaining in the half. After a quick incompletion, Pinckney scrambled as time expired but was only able to reach the Elba 3-yard line leaving the score at 14-6 in Elba’s favor at halftime.

“Friday night was a step in the right direction for us,” Daleville coach Will Garner said. “Moral victories are not something we’re about, because we play to win football games.

“As young as a football team as we are, though, we have to be successful like we were in that game, for the most part, and able to move the ball the whole game for us to be able to get where we need to be. We had the ball inside their 10-yard line five times with chances to score. There was a lot of positive things that happened for our football team.”

The second half was all Elba, though. On the first play of the half, Caldwell raced to a 44-yard touchdown run to extend the Tiger lead to 20-6 after a failed PAT. Daleville turned the ball over on downs on its next possession and Elba made the Warhawks pay when Johnson found receiver Peyton McCart for a 30-yard touchdown pass. The PAT extended the Tiger lead to 27-6.

Daleville freshman Marcus Smith exploded for a 60-yard kickoff return on the ensuing possession and Daleville drove down to the Elba 5-yard line. With Daleville facing a fourth-and-goal, Daleville suffered a false start and then Pinckney’s fourth down pass fell incomplete giving Elba the ball back.

Two plays later, Elba scored again on a 35-yard touchdown run to extend the lead to 33-6.

Late in the third quarter, Daleville suffered a safety to extend Elba’s lead to 35-6 and another touchdown run to extend the lead to 41-6 after a failed PAT.

In the fourth quarter, Pinckney scored on a 5-yard touchdown run to cut the lead to 41-14 after Pinckney converted the two-point try with a pass to Moore. Elba managed to run out the clock for the remainder of the game.

In total, Daleville rolled up 250 total yards and Elba amassed 378 total yards of offense. Pinckney led the way for Daleville with 116 yards and a touchdown on 21 rushing attempts, while also completing 3-of-11 pass attempts for 34 yards and one touchdown. Moore rushed for 85 yards on 17 carries and also caught three passes for 34 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, Moore also totaled six tackles and two tackles-for-loss. Smith returned three kickoffs for 108 yards and carried the ball three times for 10 yards.

For Elba, Caldwell rushed for 122 yards and two touchdowns on just four carries.

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