ONEONTA – In head coach Jonathan McWhorter’s absence due to COVID-19 quarantine, Cedar Bluff defensive coordinator and interim head coach Torey McDaniel helped the Tigers earn a 48-28 Class 1A, Region 7 football victory at Appalachian on Friday night. The win clinched a home playoff game for the Tigers (4-4, 4-1).
“The guys really stepped up with the adversity this week,” McDaniel said. “One thing I didn’t want to do was kind of slow the momentum down that we’ve had over the last couple of weeks.
“The staff with Coach (Garrett) Crane and Coach (Jim) Nelson really stepped up, as far as having a great offensive game plan and helping me with the defense. We had a plan on what we wanted to do going into the game. We stuck to the game plan. A lot of the looks we thought we’d get we got. The kids really responded to it and seemed to excel with the adversity of playing on the road and some hard situations.”
Quarterback Jacob Burleson completed 6-of-8 pass attempts for 134 yards, including a 39-yard touchdown to Bucky Leek. Burleson also run for 36 yard and three scores on 10 carries.
Nick Clifton added 124 yards on 14 totes with a 10-yard touchdown. Preston Burt accumulated 115 yards on seven carries with two scores (57 and 10 yards). Leek finished with four catches for 109 yards and a touchdown.
“Huge win for our guys,” McDaniel said. “We started the season losing three of our first four games. Our guys are really starting to pick it up. Some of the guys who have never played football before, now they’ve got some games under their belt and it’s really starting to show.
“I’m very proud of the guys, very proud of the coaching staff and everybody who stepped up. The community wished us well all week and was very instrumental in helping us out this week.”
If all goes well, McWhorter could be back on the sideline in time for Cedar Bluff’s final home game of the regular season against Coosa Christian on Friday.