Tigers Advance



LEADING THE WAY- No return man is successful without good blocking. In the above photo Saluda’s Tyrell Abney returns a punt, with Ny’Kel Rolland (5), Wil Easler (65) and Kendrius Graham (16) leading the charge. (Photo by Trey Fingerlin)






Tigers Romp Past


Landrum, 49-0







  The Saluda Tigers got their state title hunt off to a successful start with a 49-0 win over Landrum in the first round of the 2A playoffs Fri., Nov. 18, at the Bettis Herlong Stadium at Matthews Field.







  In raising their record to 10-1, the 2016 Tigers join the 2015 team in becoming the first Saluda High football teams since 1962 and 1963 to win ten or more games in back-to-back seasons.




  It didn’t take long for the Tigers to establish dominance in the game, as they led 14-0 after only three offensive plays.




  After forcing Landrum to punt in the first possession of the game, Saluda got the ball at its own 31. On the Tigers’ first offensive play of the game, Malik Brooks broke for a 68-yard run and was finally tackled at the one-yard-line. Brooks scored in the next play. Dylan Strickland gave the Tigers a 7-0 lead with 8:41 to go in the first quarter.




  A bad snap on their next possession forced the Cardinals to punt from their own 19. The 41-yard punt put the Tigers at their own 40.




  On first down, Tyrell Abney lined up at quarterback in the shotgun, took the snap, turned the corner and sped 60-yards down the sidelines for the score. Strickland kicked the PAT and the Tigers led 14-0 with 6:11 to go in the quarter.




  The Tigers almost had three scores in five plays. After freshman Cade Gentry intercepted a Cardinal pass, freshman quarterback Noah Bell lofted a pass to a wide open Abney, but Abney dropped the ball. The Tigers ended up punting on that possession.




  Later in the quarter, the Tigers began a 91-yard drive, after a penalty wiped out Abney’s long punt return. Saluda used five different backs, Brooks, Abney, Kendarius Graham, O’Syruis Springs and Ny’kel Rolland during the march.




  On the first play of the second quarter, Brooks scored on a five-yard run. Strickland’s kick was good and the Tigers led 21-0.




  Down by three scores, the Cardinals decided to fake a punt on their next possession. It didn’t work, Saluda took over at the Landrum 44. A 15-yard-pass from Bell to Raquam Hartley got the drive going, then it was all Brooks the rest of the way. On his fourth carry of the drive, Brooks scored on a 15-yard run. Strickland increased the lead to 28-0 with 7:54 remaining in the first half.




  Another dropped potential touchdown pass on a trick play led to the Tigers having to punt on their next possession, but the quick strike offense returned the next time they got the ball.




  After a punt gave the Tigers the ball at their own 42. Brooks gained eights yards on first down, then went the remaining 50 on his next carry. Strickland’s kick gave Saluda a 35-0 halftime lead. Brooks finished the first half with 207 yards rushing on 13 carries.




  Unfortunately for Landrum, Saluda got the second half kick-off. Fortunately for Landrum, their kicker kicked away from Saluda’s stellar return man Abney. Unfortunately for Landrum, Saluda’s Graham fielded the ball at the 25 and returned it all the way for the touchdown. Saluda led 42-0 with 11:44 to go in the third quarter.




  On their next possession, the Tigers moved 55-yards on three plays. Graham scored on a 37-yard run, and Strickland completed to scoring at 49-0 with 9:27 to go in the quarter.




  From that point, the referees decided to keep the clock running, which marked the fifth time this season this has happened in a Saluda game.




  Coach Stewart Young turned the game over to his younger players, and many off this year’s junior varsity team got good playing time.




  Brooks finished with 242 yards on just 15 carries. In his last two games, Brooks has rushed for 529 yards and scored nine touchdowns. He’s averaged a remarkable 16.8 yards a carry in those two games. Abney was the second leading rusher with 73 yards on only two carries.




  The Tigers will host the second round against Andrew Jackson Friday.




  The Volunteers, 9-2, defeated Ninety Six 42-21 Friday.




  Kick-off is at 7:30 p.m.







SCISA 8-MAN DIVISION II STATE RUNNER-UP!!! Pictured Top to Bottom: Coach Daniel Dorn, Grady Williamson, Hunter Black, Wil Parrish, Reagan Pugh, River Guy, Chris Fincher, Head Coach Zach Matthews, Truman Caughman, Coach Dennis Gibson, Jackson Parrish, Ben Buzhardt, Coach Michael Kinard, Hunter DuBose, Coach Devin Bedenbaugh, Lane Bedenbaugh, Tyler List, Carlee Holsonback, Peighton Rienzo, Reaghan Turner, Sydney Sanders, Ashlyn Dowling, Jonni Belle Widener, Madison Swain, Texanna Miller, Nicki Boone, Morgan Price, Jade Temples, Jesse Parrish, Bryan Doolittle, Joe Sauls, Sam Mitchell, Quinten Miller, Travis Long, and Morgan Bartley.






Knights Fall Short


In Title Game






By: Gerald Doolittle







  Batesburg-Leesville, S.C. – Last Friday night the W.W. King Academy Knights traveled to Wilson Hall Academy in Sumter to face the Andrew Jackson Academy Confederates for the SCISA 8-Man Division Two Championship.







  The Knights had the misfortune of having to battle with the defending champions, who won their 25th straight game 60-18. The Confederates quarterback, Savalas Cann, was a beast that could not be stopped as he scored six of the eight Confederate touchdowns. He rushed the ball 29 times for 293 yards and had touchdown runs of 2, 35,1,4, 43 and 8 yards.




  Brett McCormick carried the ball 13 times for the Confederates, for 87 yards and a touchdown. Trey Pulaski came into the game in the fourth quarter and rushed 11 times for 43 yards and a touchdown.




  The Knights struggled all game to get their ground attack going against the stiff Andrew Jackson defense. Lane Bedenbaugh could only get 40 yards on 10 carries in the game. Chris Fincher added only 14 yards. Quarterback Jackson Parrish was sacked three times ended up with -10 yards.




  With the ground attack stalled, the Knights took to the air on offense. Parrish completed 11 of 18 passes for 198 yards, with touchdown passes to Hunter DuBose (16 yds.), Truman Caughman (22 yds.) and Bedenbaugh (40 yds.).




  Bedenbaugh had 6 receptions for 118 yards. Fincher had 4 receptions for 42 yards, followed by Caughman with 22 and Dubose with 16 yards.




  The Knights defense was kept busy all night trying to stop the 71 offensive plays of Andrew Jackson. Bedenbaugh was a workhorse getting 15 primary and 11 assisted tackles. Fincher had 10 primary and 6 assisted. Wil Parrish had 13 and 3. Jackson Parrish had 13 and 4 followed by Hunter Black with 10 and 3. Black and Reagan Pugh each had a quarterback sack.




  "It is unbelievable to be able to be in this position coming in tonight, with this group that laid it out there. The score may not reflect it, but I promise they left everything they had out there tonight," said Coach Zach Matthews. "It is hard to see it come to an end like that for the seniors; however, at the end of the day, they are going to look back on this and realize what an accomplishment it really was."




  It was truly a dream season for the Knights to come from a 1-10 2015 season that included half the season being forfeited because of a depleted roster caused by injuries to the 10-1 season of 2016.