CHIPLEY — When the Chipley Tigers faced the Vernon Yellow Jackets at Philip Rountree Stadium in Chipley, the Tigers gave as good as they got — and then some.
The two squads seemed evenly matched, with both offenses seemingly capable of marching down the fields at will, but the Tigers went into halftime with a 14-7 lead and never relinquished that edge, eventually stopping Vernon 35-28.
Chipley’s running back Kobe McCrary scored the Tiger’s first touchdown with 2:23 to play in the first quarter. Fletcher Dilmore’s extra point attempt made it 7-0.
The second quarter opened with Chipley driving 57 yards on six plays, ending with B.J. Oliver’s 20-yard scamper into the end zone. Dilmore’s aim was true and the Tigers led 14-0 in with 8:30 to play in the half.
Vernon’s Tristian Porter found the end zone on a quarterback Dylan Kirk pass less than 2 minutes later to get the Yellow Jackets on the board. Aaron Bower’s kick was good to make it 14-7.
The second half opened with the Tigers capping a 55-yard, 12-play drive with a 3-yard score by Oliver from 2nd and goal. Dilmore’s kick was no good, but the Tigers were up 20-7 with 6:33 remaining in the third quarter.
The Yellow Jackets replied with a 66-yard, 7-play effort that ended with Kirk shot a short pass to Porter in the end zone. Bower’s kick was good and it was a 20-14 game with 3:26 left in the quarter.
The Tigers were not to be outdone, and they came back with a 59-yard drive that began with McCrary nabbing an off-sides Yellow Jackets’ kick and returning it to the Yellow Jacket’s 43.
Oliver went up the middle on the next play for three, then quarterback Jordan Finch connected with Oliver who scored on a 43-yard run. The Tigers went for two-points and bumped their lead to 28-14.
The Yellow Jackets came back in the fourth quarter when Porter connected with Cody Harmon on a screen pass from the 12-yard line to score. Bowers kicked the extra point and the score was 28-21 with 10:29 left to play.
The Yellow Jackets tried the off-sides kick again, but this time the Tigers recovered it at the Vernon 49. The Tigers were stalled for three downs, but Finch gained some yardage with a QB keeper, driving deep into the Yellow Jackets territory. A personal foul against Vernon moved the Tigers to within easy striking distance, but it took eight more plays before McCrary scored from the 3-yard line. Dilmore’s kick made it 35-21 with 5:10 left to play.
The Yellow Jackets were good for one more score, this one capping a 59-yard, 4-play effort that ended with Kirk connecting with Austin Brown on a 2nd and goal effort. Bowers’ kick made it 35-28.
The Tigers got control of the ball with 3:12 left to play and successfully ran the clock down for the win.
Next Friday Chipley travels to Blountstown, while Vernon hosts Wewa. Kickoffs are at 7 p.m.