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Tatum Clinches District 9-2A D-I’s Top Playoff Seed in 31-15 Win vs. Harmony

TATUM — Shaq Johnson scored three touchdowns to lead Tatum to a 31-15 win against Harmony on Friday and clinch a share of the District 9-2A Division I championship.

Tatum (8-2, 4-1) receives a first-round bye in the Class 2A Division I Region III playoff bracket via points tiebreaker over fellow 9-2A D-I tri-champions Troup (9-1, 4-1) and White Oak (8-2, 4-1).

Johnson scored on runs of 2, 14, and 1, while quarterback Darian Brooks carried 11 times for 56 yards, one touchdown, and three third-down conversions. C.J. Whitaker ran for 40 yards on four carries and caught two passes for 18 yards. Andrew Stoker caught four passes for 28 yards, and Demetrius Hill ran for 33 yards on six attempts.

Alex Garza, who had two interceptions from his linebacker position, gave Tatum a 3-0 first-quarter lead on his 33-yard field goal. Garza’s first-quarter interception led to a 55-yard Tatum touchdown drive capped by Brooks’ one-yard touchdown run for a 10-0 lead.

Peralta ran for a touchdown to cut Tatum’s lead to 10-7 in the second quarter, but Johnson capped a 16-play, 73-yard drive that took more than eight minutes with a two-yard touchdown run for a 17-7 halftime advantage.

Harmony converted a fourth-and-10 fake punt from its own 28 to keep a possession alive that led to a touchdown that cut Tatum’s lead to 17-15 early in the fourth, but Tatum capitalized on short kickoff to cover 52 yards in eight plays as Johnson scored from 13 yards to boost the Tatum lead to 24-15.

Johnson added his final touchdown run on the final play of the game for the 16-point victory margin.

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