The (2-1) Neville Tigers offense put forth its best performance of the season in a 49-12 victory against Huntington Friday night.
The Tigers totaled 474 yards of offense on just 39 plays in a matchup between two Top 10 Class 4A foes, according to the LSWA. Once the postseason begins, Neville will be included in the Non-Select Division I bracket.
Quarterback Brooks Anzalone and running back Jaylon Nichols shined in the victory. With a clean pocket thanks to his offensive line, Anzalone completed 12-of-14 passes for 244 yards and four scores.
“He was dropping them in the bucket,” Neville head coach Jeff Tannehill said. “He was hitting perfect passes out there. Offensively, we were clicking on all cylinders. I thought our offensive line did a tremendous job.”
Nichols led the Tigers in rushing with 98 yards and two scores on 10 carries. He also scored on a 69-yard screen pass.
“He had a great game,” Tannehill said. “His vision is getting better. He started the season with a few bumps and bruises, and he’s finally getting healthy. Again credit our offensive line. The run game did a good job tonight against their front four. But he made some really nice runs. He broke two or three tackles on that screen pass.”
Anzalone completed a 38-yard touchdown pass to Bradley Hanlon in the first quarter to get the Tigers’ offense rolling. A 13-yard run from Nichols, followed by Chandler Pettis’ second extra point, gave Neville a 14-0 lead.
Class 4A All-State quarterback Kamron Evans completed a 40-yard touchdown pass to Damarion Carter to draw Huntington within eight, but the Tigers scored three more touchdowns in the quarter to take a 35-6 halftime lead.
Anzalone connected with Jaden Gibson on a 60-yard strike before Nichols scored on a 23-yard run followed by the 69-yard screen pass.
The Tigers held Evans to just 148 passing yards and two scores after completing just 11-of-25 passes. Evans was averaging nearly 350 passing yards per game entering the contest.
“They played in the I a lot tonight,” Tannehill said. “I don’t know if they watched last week’s game or whatever, and they decided to run it a lot (Friday night). His completions were mostly slants, and he went to scrambling and completed one of those long ones where a guy got behind us. But we got after him a good bit tonight. (Matthew) Fobbs-White and (D’Angelo) Woods had good games. Defensively, we played a lot of snaps because the offense scored quickly.”
The Tigers scored twice more in the second half, as Anzalone connected with Hanlon on a 26-yard touchdown pass, and Jonovan Green busted loose in the fourth quarter on an 87-yard touchdown run.
With the victory, the Tigers move to 2-1 and will now get to host their first home game of the season against North Caddo Friday night.
“Our first home game... I might have to show our guys around the field,” Tannehill said, laughing.