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Cliff Williams / Tallapoosa Publishers Wetumpka’s Dylan Price (6) causes a fumble against Chilton County. Imarious Roberts (19) returned the fumble 43 yards for a touchdown.

The Wetumpka football team kept its playoff hopes alive behind a stellar performance from its defense.

Wetumpka’s defense allowed only one touchdown and 121 total yards of offense as the Indians beat Chilton County, 21-7, in a Class 6A, Region 3 matchup. The Indians are now 4-4 with a 2-2 record in region play with two games left in the season.

Wetumpka held Chilton County (0-7, 0-4) out of the end zone for most of the night, and the Tigers only scoring drive came late in the fourth quarter in garbage time.

“Our defense has played that way all year with only one exception,” Wetumpka coach Tim Perry said. “They bailed us out tonight. We couldn’t seem to get a first down the second half. We didn’t execute on offense, and that’s on me, but our defense was just spectacular tonight. We put them in some bad situations with short field and they did a great job.”

Wetumpka’s defense got the scoring started in the game.

Outside linebacker Dylan Price blitzed Chilton County quarterback Cannon Miller from the right side of the defense and hit Miller, forcing him to fumble.

The ball fell behind Miller, and Wetumpka’s Imarious Roberts picked up the fumble and raced 43 yards for a touchdown to put Wetumpka up, 7-0, with one minute left in the first quarter.

That was one of Price’s two sacks on the night, and he had two pass defenses.

“I just can’t say enough about Dylan and the progress he’s made from his sophomore season,” Perry said. “He’s a three-year starter and he’s really matured. He’s a great leader and he’s playing at a really high level. I’m really proud of him.”

Following the defensive touchdown, Wetumpka forced a punt that gave the Indians the ball around midfield.

After a 24-yard pass from quarterback Nate Rogers to Michael Dillard gave Wetumpka the ball in Chilton County territory, Rogers found a hole up the middle and scored on a 33-yard rushing touchdown to put Wetumpka up, 14-0.

That score stayed until halftime, and the Wetumpka defense struck again right out of the half. On the first play of the second half, Chilton County looked to have passed the ball for a short gain, but Wetumpka linebacker Austin Turner knocked the ball out of the Chilton receiver’s hands.

Senior safety Avery Thomas picked up the fumble, and Wetumpka took over at the Tigers’ 30-yard line. Seven plays later, Wetumpka scored on a Justin Crumbaugh 4-yard touchdown run.

That was Wetumpka’s last touchdown of the game, and it put the Indians up 21-0.

Wetumpka’s defense then held on for the win.

They forced a punt late in the third quarter, then Chilton County drove the ball into the red zone. Two penalties pushed the Chilton offense back, and the Tigers threw an incomplete pass on fourth down for a turnover on downs.

The Wetumpka offense quickly turned the ball over, and Chilton County had the ball in the red zone again.

The Indians held on again and had back-to-back tackles for loss, then forced two incomplete passes for a turnover on downs for a second-straight possession.

“We had close to 400 yards of offense last week, but we couldn’t seem to get a first down in the second half tonight and we kept putting our defense in a bad spot,” Perry said. “Fortunately, they rose up and responded. We don’t win this game if they don’t respond the way they did.”

Chilton County’s only touchdown game in garbage time on a 3-yard rushing touchdown by Jakeveion Bolding with 2:03 left to cut the score to 21-7.

Wetumpka has to win one of its next two to make the playoffs. The Indians will travel to Calera (4-3, 2-2) next Friday.