Tigers Beat Fox Creek

FLYING TACKLE- Saluda’s freshman defensive back Cade Gentry makes a diving tackle of Fox Creek’s quarterback in the Tigers’ 52-21 win Friday in North Augusta. (Photo by Trey Fingerlin)

Saluda Drains Fox Creek, 52-21

  Saluda came one game closer to claiming their first conference championship since 2003, with a 52-21 win over scrappy Fox Creek at the Lions Memorial Stadium in North Augusta Fri., Oct. 28.
  The large following of Tiger fans had seen their team outscore the first three region opponents 163-21, and were stunned when Fox Creek took the opening kick-off and drive in for the score. It marked the first time Saluda had trailed in a contest since the B&L game Sept. 16.
  The Predators moved 79-yards in only eight plays to take a 7-0 lead in the game with 10:01 to play in the first quarter. Tamia Lovett’s one-yard touchdown run was set up by a 32-yard pass from Caleb Charlton to Noah Jarrard. Michael Ray kicked the point after.
  Saluda responded with a 74-yard drive, led by Malik Brooks, who gained 45-yards on three carries on the march. Tyrell Abney scored the touchdown on a 26-yard run. Dylan Strickland’s kick tied the scored at 7-7 with 7:25 left in the first quarter.
  The Tigers forced a punt on Fox Creek’s next possession and got the ball at their own 43. On first down freshman quarterback Noah Bell threw his first interception of the season and the Predators took over at the Saluda 47.
  On first down, Charlton threw to Dustin Barnes for the touchdown. Ray gave the Predators a 14-7 lead with 5:24 left.
  Malcolm Wiggins returned Ray’s kick-off 60-yards to the Fox Creek 30. Brooks gained 19-yards on the first two downs, which put the ball at the 11. On the next play, the Predators were looking for Brooks, but Bell kept the ball and ran into the end zone. Strickland tied the score with 4:00 still remaining in the first quarter.
  The scoring wasn’t over in the period.
  Saluda held the Predators to three downs and punt again after the kick-off.  A high snap force Ray to run and Saluda tackled him at the Fox Creek 19.
  Brooks gained 18 yards on first down, then scored from the one on the next play. Strickland completed the first quarter scoring at 21-14.
  The Tigers “held serve” the rest of the way.
  Saluda’s next score was set up by an interception of a Charlton pass by freshman Cade Gentry. Taking over at the Saluda 21, the Tigers drove 79-yards on eight plays.
  A ten-yard touchdown run by Brooks was called back due to a holding penalty, but it didn’t matter. On the second play after the walk-off, Brooks scored on a 19-yard run. Strickland’s PAT upped Saluda’s lead to 28-14 with 6:24 to go in the first half.
  Fox Creek was once again force to punt without gaining a first down on the next possession. Abney hauled in the punt and returned it 63-yards to the Fox Creek 17. Four plays later, Brooks scored from the one. With 2:51 left in the half, Strickland’s kick was good and the Tigers led 35-14.
  As time ran out, Saluda got on the board again with a 22-yard field goal by Strickland, making the halftime score 38-14.
  Saluda received the opening kick-off of the second half and drove in for another score.
  With the ball at the Saluda 45,  Bell rolled out and was about to attempt a short pass. When he saw a Predator defender in the way, he held back, then spotted Abney down the field and the speedy senior turned it into a 55-yard touchdown. Strickland’s kick made it 45-14 with 8:22 to go in the third.  The drive covered 97-yards, due to Abney fielding the kick-off with a knee on the ground at the three.
  After getting stung by 14 first quarter points, Saluda’s defense held Fox Creek without a first down until the second play of the fourth quarter.
  Ashton Hallman’s only punt of the night pinned the Predators at their own three. Against the Tiger reserves, Fox Creek moved 97-yards. Charlton passed to Jontae Herrin for the score. Ray’s kick cut Saluda’s lead to 45-21 with 5:04 to go in the game.
  Ray’s kick-off travelled to the end zone. With the ball at the 20, Bell handed off to Kendarius Graham and the sophomore displayed his 4.3 40-yard dash speed by running past all of the Predator defenders for an 80-yard scoring run. Strickland completed Saluda’s score at 52-21.
  The Tigers ran out the clock on their next possession.
  The Tigers had their best offensive game of the year, piling up 514 total yards.
  Brooks led the way with 205 yards rushing on 23 carries. Graham topped the century mark with 101-yards on four carries.
  Bell completed six of 11 passes for 125 yards, and Abney, who had only caught three passes coming into the game, caught five for 110-yards.
  The Tigers raised their record to 8-1 and 4-0 in the league. In the four league wins, Saluda has averaged 53.8 points per game.
  Friday will be Senior Night at the Bettis Herlong Stadium at Matthews Field, in a game that was rescheduled due to Hurricane Matthew.
  Gray Collegiate enters the game with a 5-4 overall record and 3-1 mark in the conference. Like Fox Creek, Gray Collegiate can put points on the board and has an outstanding passing game.
  The worst the Tigers can do is tie for the championship with a loss, but Saluda wants that first outright league title since Harvey Livingston’s 2003 team.
  Kick-off is at 7:30 p.m.


SCISA REGION ONE 8-MAN DIVISION TWO CHAMPIONS - Pictured Top to Bottom: Coach Daniel Dorn, Grady Williamson, Chris Fincher, Wil Parrish, Coach Michael Kinard, River Guy, Head Coach Zach Matthews, Jackson Parrish, Truman Caughman, Coach Dennis Gibson, Reagan Pugh, Hunter DuBose, Lane Bedenbaugh, Coach Devin Bedenbaugh, Hunter Black, Quinten Miller, Travis Long, Ben Buzhardt, Joe Sauls, Bryan Doolittle, and Sam Mitchell

Knights Complete 9-0 Regular Season

By: Gerald Doolittle
  Last week the W.W. King Academy Knights of Coach Zach Matthews traveled to Winnsboro to battle the Richard Winn Academy Eagles for the SCISA Region One 8-Man Division Two Championship.
  When the dust had cleared from battle the Knights came out the victor with a 52-22 victory.   The Knights played ball control to gain the upper hand, rushing the ball 63 times for 417 yards.   The Eagles only rushed the ball 41 times for 215 yards.   The Knights also had four returns for 128 yards and a touchdown.    In total yards the Knights also won that battle 500-244.
  Lane Bedenbaugh fired the Knights offense with 318 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns.  He rushed 26 times for 191 yards and three touchdown runs of 5, 2 and 52 yards.  In the second quarter, he returned a kickoff 80 yards for a score.  He opened the game with a 45 yard kickoff return that setup the first scoring drive.
  Quarterback Jackson Parrish rushed the ball 13 times for 95 yards, with touchdown runs of 1 and 58 yards.   Chris Fincher rushed 10 times for 57 yards and a touchdown from 11 yards out.
  Coach Matthews turned the rushing attack over to Bryan Doolittle and Wil Parrish in the fourth quarter.   Doolittle rushed 9 times for 62 yards and a 5 yard touchdown. Parrish rushed 5 times for 22 yards.
  The Knights perhaps played their best defense of the season, as it was a complete team effort.  Hunter Black had 11 primary tackles and 5 assisted stops that included two quarterback drops.  For the season he has 15 sacks, which has him ranked toward the top statewide.
  Parrish also had a great defensive game with 12 primary tackles that included two quarterback sacks and a fumble recovery.  Bedenbaugh recorded 7 primary and 3 assisted tackles.  He also had an interception and four pass rejections.  Hunter DuBose recorded 7 primary and 3 assisted tackles that included two quarterback sacks. Wil Parrish recorded 5 primary and 4 assisted tackles.
  Ben Buzhardt, Reagan Pugh, Truman Caughman and Chris Fincher all had good defensive games with several tackles each.  
  With the victory the Knights earned a first round bye in the playoffs, as the other region only had three teams competing in football.   They will host a semi-final game on November 11th against the Patrick Henry vs Jefferson Davis winner.
  All Knight fans are urged to come out in full force to fire the team on to a win that will put them in the title game on November 18th.