Whadya know, Joe?
McClanahan steps up big against Athens
Nick Johnston, Sports Editor
After Joe McClanahan scored a touchdown, somebody on the sidelines said Hell may have just frozen over.
That may be a bit extreme, but his performance Friday night was improbable at best, and he'll admit.
When asked how he was in the right spot all night, McClanahan just smiled.
"It shocked me," he said. "All I've ever wanted to do is score a touchdown, now I want a couple of more."
McClanahan also had an interception to go along with the fumble recovery in the second quarter of a 28-7 win over the Athens Golden Eagles.
On the interception, McClanahan deflected the ball into mid-air before hauling it in.
"I didn't know I was going to catch it," he said. "I just turned around and looked up and there it was."
His night drew a lot of praise from head coach Bob Godsey, wide receiver Nikita Stover and linebacker Chris Borden, among other Tigers Friday night.
"Joe just keeps getting better," Godsey said. "We're awfully proud of him. He's a guy that flourishes with success and gets more confidence as he goes."
Borden summed it up with "Joe's the man," and Stover was little more philosophical.
"For some reason I had a feeling he was going to play good, because he always works hard and tries hard in every practice," Stover said. "And this game lets you know everybody's working hard, because if a nose guard is making tackles and interceptions and touchdowns, everybody can do it.
"I know this, he loves this game."
McClanahan is just a sophomore and is listed at 5 feet, 10 inches. He's not used to being the star, and wasn't expecting the hardest hit he would take all night during the celebration.
"I got hit pretty hard by Nick (Bates)," McClanahan said. "I didn't expect him."
Now, McClanahan and the Tigers will face off against a Cullman team whose only loss came to Russellville.
So, I asked Joe what it was going to take to beat the Bearcats.
"The offense is going to have to move the ball and the defense has to stop them," he said.
Well said, Joe … well said.