Tucker entered its season opener against Southwest DeKalb on Aug. 27 with a new offensive line and a group of running backs making their first starts.
But the Tigers got big plays from several players offensively as they beat Southwest DeKalb 50-19 in a Region 6-AAAA matchup. It was the first time the Panthers had allowed at least 50 points in a game since losing to Druid Hills 53-21 in 1952.
Bashr Coles and N’Quan Maggett each scored three touchdowns for the Tigers. With Tucker leading 14-0 after the first quarter, Maggett scored three touchdowns in a three-minute span as the lead grew to 36-6. He scored on a 1-yard run, a 48-yard pass play and a 95-yard kickoff return. Tucker built an improbable 50-6 halftime lead.
“We had expectations and we came out and executed the way we wanted to,” Tucker coach Franklin Stephens said. “We stuck to our game plan. As well as it seemed like we played, I’m sure we have some things we need to correct and we’ll look at the film and come out next week and take care of those things.”
A 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Moses Charles that cut Tucker’s lead to 28-6 was one on the few bright spots for the Panthers. Southwest did not get a first down until 1:25 remained in the first half and scored the first of two offensive touchdowns with eight minutes remaining in the game.
Tucker took advantage of good field position all night long, starting five of its six first-half possessions inside Southwest territory.
An interception on the second play of the game by Tucker defensive back Chris Sanders, a Georgia commit, set the tone for the Tigers' defense. Southwest was held to 43 yards on offense in the first half. The Panthers either had a turnover, no gain or negative yardage on 11 of 19 plays in the first half.