TANNER — Tanner clinched a Class 2A playoff spot Friday night with a 50-26 victory over Pisgah. The Rattlers (5-4 overall, 3-3 region) earned the No. 4 spot in Class 2A, Region 7 with the win, while Pisgah (2-7, 2-4) misses out on the postseason.
The game couldn't have started out any better for Tanner. Pisgah's first possession ended with a safety when the quarterback was sacked in the end zone after fumbling the snap.
Tanner then received the free kick and quickly marched for a score. Michael Guster had a 23-yard touchdown run to put the Rattlers up 9-0.
After stopping Pisgah on downs, Tanner quickly scored again, with Guster adding his second touchdown, this one on a four-yard run.
After Pisgah answered with a score, Tanner got its third touchdown. This time Evan Fuqua did the honors, scoring on a one-yard plunge.
Pisgah got a touchdown right before halftime to make the score 23-12, but Tanner put the game away in the third quarter with three touchdowns on three consecutive offensive plays.
Quarterback Karl Parham found Skylar Townsend wide open for a 36-yard touchdown pass with 8:31 remaining in the third quarter. After Pisgah was forced to punt on its next possession, Tanner struck again on its first play when Parham threw a screen pass to Alex Guster, who took it down the sideline for a 66-yard score.
Pisgah was stopped on downs on its next possession, and Tanner put the game completely out of reach when Neaus Orr took a handoff and scampered 81 yards for a touchdown to make the score 43-12.
Tanner added one final touchdown early in the fourth quarter on a 30-yard run by Nick Gibson. Pisgah scored the final two touchdowns of the game against some of the Tanner backups.
The win gave Tanner its first playoff appearance since 2017. The Rattlers will play at Waterloo next week. A win would give Tanner a winning season for the first time since 2016.