Columbia advances to Class 6A, Region 1 final

Published: Friday, November 23, 2012 at 11:52 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, November 23, 2012 at 11:52 p.m.

LAKE CITY — Columbia running back Ronald Timmons set not one, but two records Friday night in the No. 5 Tigers’ 34-8 Class 6A, Region 1 semifinal win over No. 3 St. Augustine.

The senior broke the Tigers’ single-season rushing record midway through the second quarter, barreling for 216 yards on 22 carries against St. Augustine. Timmons now rests at 1,546 yards this season after topping Don London’s 1997 record.

After the game, Columbia coach Brian Allen awarded Timmons a game ball — something he has never done in his career, he said.

“From the day I got in here, he bought into the idea that we’re going to work harder than anyone else, anywhere,” he said. “Going to class, getting stronger in the weight room, he’s done everything to give coaches confidence to put him on the field.”

Timmons was quick to praise and thank the Tigers offensive line, led by highly ranked left tackle Laremy Tunsil. Running to his left, Timmons broke free early in the second quarter for a 53-yard score.

“I couldn’t have done any of this without the offensive line,” Timmons said. “We work hard every week. If we just keep working hard and keep grinding it out, the sky’s the limit.”

Following a 47-yard interception return for a touchdown by cornerback Roger Cray, Timmons stretched across the goal line for a 3-yard touchdown.

The 21-0 halftime lead was plenty for the Tigers (11-1), whose stifling defense held St. Augustine (11-1) scoreless until the fourth quarter.

“It’s not about an individual on this squad, even though we’ve got some very, very good ones,” Allen said. “That’s the beauty of who we are as a team.”

Next week, Columbia will travel to Navarre in the regional finals, and Timmons has his eyes on a bigger number.

“The thing is, London set his record in 15 games,” Allen said. “Timmons has done it in 12. We’re chasing 2,000 now.”

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