By Jerry Richmond, Sports Staff Writer

Making their state-record 30th consecutive trip to the playoffs, the Trousdale County Yellow Jackets (8-3) opened Friday with a 34-6 rout of the Bledsoe County Warriors (4-7) on the Creekbank.

The win kept another streak intact for the Jackets, who have never lost a first-round playoff game at home.

“I was really proud of our players’ focus and preparation leading up to the Bledsoe game and our guys came out and dominated the game from the beginning,” said Trousdale coach Brad Waggoner.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Trousdale County’s Isiah Harper (6) turns the corner and heads for the end zone in the first quarter Friday. Harper ran for 137 yards and two touchdowns in the Yellow Jackets’ 34-6 first-round victory.

The Yellow Jackets did start fast after Bledsoe County opened the game with a three-and-out on offense. Sophomore Tarvaris Claiborne partially blocked the punt to give Trousdale great field position at midfield. Three plays later, the Jackets scored their first points on a 5-yard run from senior Isiah Harper.

The Jackets would score on their next possession as Harper raced 21 yards to the purple-and-gold checkerboards. Junior Keyvont Baines successfully booted the extra point to give his team a 14-0 lead with 6:22 left in the first quarter.

Early in the second quarter, Claiborne caught his third touchdown pass of the season, a 47-yard strike from Baines which made it 21-0.

Trousdale had the ball five times in the third quarter but turned it over on downs once, punted three times and had a Kobe Ford fumble that was returned for Bledsoe’s only score of the game.

Ford redeemed himself in the fourth quarter as he and freshman Sebastian Linarez each scored touchdowns to extend the lead. Freshman Heath Chasse kicked the last extra point for a 34-6 lead as the Jackets won their 78th playoff game.

Harper finished with his best night of the season as he ran for 131 yards and two TDs on 17 carries. Baines added eight runs for 97 yards and also completed passes of 17 yards to senior Trace McGuire and 6 yards to Ford.

Defensive coordinator Scott Booth saw his players dominate the game as they held Bldsoe County to just 97 yards of total offense and two first downs – one in each half.

Junior defensive end Jake Gregory continued to show why he is considered one of the best linemen in 2A as he finished with 11 tackles, three for loss, and a sack. Claiborne followed with 10 tackles, one for loss, and a sack. Junior Xavian Seay was credited with seven tackles, one for loss, and a sack.