The Tanner Rattlers were dominant in all three phases of the game and cruised to a 48-7 victory over Cleveland at Michael E. Dixon Memorial Stadium last Friday night.
The Panthers hung tough early, tying the game 7- 7 on a 20-yard pass from Christian Collum to Patrick Johnson with 3:31 left in the first quarter.
The game stayed tied 7-7 through the opening quarter but Tanner began to roll in the second quarter. The Rattlers scored on runs of 52 and 20 yards and a 40-yard pass reception to go up 27-7 at the half.
The Rattler defense continued to keep the Panther offense in check and the visitors put the game away thanks to great special teams play. Javin Thatch had touchdowns of 60 and 74 yards on punt returns in the quarter – his fourth and fifth of the year (the state record is eight).
While Tanner rushed for 329 yards and passed for 58, Cleveland managed just 136 total yards – 70 on the ground and 66 through the air.
Collum rushed for 29 yards on seven carries and completed 7 of 12 passes for 66 yards and a touchdown.
Trevor Yates rushed for 18 yards on eight carries and caught two passes for 31 yards while Patrick Johnson caught three passes for 39 yards and a touchdown.
Cleveland (2-6, 1-6 in 2A Region 7) travels to Cold Springs (0-8, 0-7) this week while Tanner (8-0, 7-0) travels to Oakman (6-2, 6-1) to play for the region title.