COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (WDEF) — Meigs County fought through more than 20 weeks of football this year. They end it with a giant trophy, just not the one the Tigers wanted.
Meigs with every intention to bring back the first ever state championship title to Decatur Saturday night. However, defending state champs Peabody got in the way.
The Tigers defense got Meigs in the right mood to start the game. Defensive lineman Montana Lowe picked off Mr. Football quarterback Cooper Baugus.
The Tigers offense turned that into points. A bad snap no problem for quarterback Aaron Swafford. He’s slippery and went through the defense for the 14-yard score. Coach Jason Fitzgerald’s classic 2-point conversion call is good. Meigs went up 8-7 in the first.
In the second, Swafford finds receiver Logan Carroll, who jukes and jives his way 40 yards. That helps set up Swafford’s 19-yard touchdown run. Tigers led 16-7 at half.
A couple plays later, Swafford somehow stays on his feet and marches 19 yards for the touchdown. It’s 16-7 Tigers at half.
The second half was a different story. Peabody scored 20 unanswered points after the break including a 29-yard Baugus touchdown. Peabody ripped Meigs’ state title right from their hands. Tigers lost 27-16.
“Yeah, we’re disappointed, really disappointed because we were this close,” Coach Fitzgerald said. “But what a great year.”
“[We’re] Just tough grit. Home town kids that really just love playing football, love Meigs County and never quit,” Swafford said.
“I’m as proud as I can be of them,” Fitzgerald said. “There’s not going to be anything negative. This group walked out with a 48-6 record in 4 years and played for a state championship. Not many teams can ever say that.”
This year’s state championship appearance marked just the third appearance by Meigs County. The Tigers lost the Class 1A title in 1980 and the Class 2A title in 1995. Meigs still on the search for that elusive gold ball trophy.