Tucker, Jones help Panthers rout Indians

Collinsville running back Michael Tucker (23) looks for a block as he carries the ball against Colbert County during a Class 2A first-round state playoff game in Collinsville on Friday night.

Michael Tucker had five touchdowns and Kaleb Jones had four scores in Collinsville’s 63-18 blowout win against Colbert County in the first round of the AHSAA Class 2A state playoffs in Collinsville on Friday night.

“Our kids did a really good job,” Panthers coach Ernie Willingham said. “I am proud of the way they played. They always kept their composure.”

Tucker had four rushing touchdowns and another receiving score to go along with an interception. He rushed 10 times for 103 yards, adding two catches for 63 yards to help the Panthers (10-1) advance to the second round, where they visit Ohatchee at 7 p.m. Friday.

Jones finished with 190 yards and three rushing scores on nine carries, while completing 4 of 5 passes for 96 yards with a TD. He also had two kickoff returns for 33 total yards. 

Collinsville scored touchdowns on eight of its first nine possessions and tallied 515 yards of total offense (46 rushes for 404 yards; 109 yards passing). Defensively, the Panthers forced three turnovers (three interceptions and a fumble). 

“We got off to a fast start, and I thought that was huge,” Willingham said. “Colbert County plays off of their emotion, and our quick start smothered some of that.” 

Collinsville’s Myles Underwood intercepted Colbert County on the third play from scrimmage, setting up a 15-yard drive for the first score just 2 minutes into the game. The Panthers’ defense forced a three-and-out, and Collinsville quickly scored its second touchdown to take the early lead.

Colbert County had 229 yards total offense.

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