Lions take care of Wren to take driver’s seat in region

By Bru Nimmons
Staff Reporter

CENTRAL — The Daniel High School football team fell behind early in the first quarter Friday as Wren quarterback Tyrell Jackson easily moved the undefeated Hurricanes down the field.

Facing early adversity unlike the Lions had experienced over the first half of the season, Daniel needed to respond.

Javares Hamilton did just that, taking the ensuing kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown. Then, on the very next play, the Lions forced a fumble on the kickoff and scored on a Tyler Venables pass to Hamilton to put Daniel up for good in a huge 51-31 win to stay unbeaten and take sole possession of first place in Region I-4A.

“Those two plays were huge,” Daniel coach Jeff Fruster said. “We showed a lot of perseverance. My staff does a great job of prepping these kids for what they’re going to see.

“My hat’s off to Jeff Tate and that Wren team. My gosh, they are talented. We had to overcome a whole lot to be able to compete with them. It was a great game, great victory for us and that was a talented bunch we just beat.”

The Lions improved to 6-0 and 2-0 in Region I-4A play, while Wren dropped to 6-1 with its first loss of the year. Combined with Walhalla’s loss to Pickens, Daniel now sits by itself atop the region standings.

The Lions’ offense was driven by another incredible performance by Venables, as he picked up yards in chunks with both his arm and his legs. Venables managed to pick up five more touchdowns on the night to bring his season total to 25.

“It’s Coach Wofford,” Venables said, crediting first-year Daniel offensive coordinator Page Wofford for his hot start. “He’s doing an amazing job of calling plays and developing this system with us. I have to give a lot of credit to him.”

“In our neck of the woods, that’s just Tyler being Tyler,” Fruster added. “The kid is an absolute competitor. I’ve said it a million times — he’s got a whole lot of heart, a whole lot of want to and absolutely no give up. That kid embodies everything you want in a Lion.”

The Daniel defense got hit hard in the first half but made some key adjustments to get things going in the second half, giving up just 90 yards and seven points after the break. David Cote led the defensive effort on the night, getting two turnovers — a third-quarter pick-six and the

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