Advance to Third Round

IN PURSUIT - Saluda’s defense had its hands full with outstanding Andrew Jackson quarterback Dalton Haven. In this photo are Slayter Waters (4), Ashton Parkman (32), Leason Horne (40), Jeremiah Stevens (21) and Javante Abney (52). haven rushed for over 200 yards, but the Tigers won 28-12 to advance to the third roundof the 2-A playoffs. (Standard-Sentinel photo)

Tigers Advance
To Third Round

  Saluda advanced to the third round of the 2A play-offs with a hard fought 28-12 win over Andrew Jackson Fri., Nov. 25, at the Bettis Herlong Stadium at Matthews Field.
  The Volunteers, 9-3, were by far the best team the Tigers have faced since Batesburg-Leesville, and Saluda could not relax until 3 minutes to go in the game when Malik Brooks scored on fourth down, giving the Tigers a 16 point lead.
  Along with the win, the Tigers had a player get into the state record books, when kicker Dylan Strickland made his 69th straight extra point kick, breaking the state record of 68.
  The first quarter ended in a scoreless, with the Tigers squandering several opportunities.
  On the first offensive play of the game, freshman quarterback Noah Bell hit Tyrell Abney on the fly pattern for a 63-yard touchdown, but the play was called back on a holding penalty. The drive would die at the Andrew Jackson 21, where Strickland missed a 38-yard field goal.
  Later a Volunteer high snap and fumble gave Saluda the ball at the AJ 29. That threat, too, would die with a missed Strickland field goal.
  Led by outstanding quarterback Dalton Haven, the Volunteers marched 80-yards after the Strickland miss for the game’s first score. With 11:05 to go in the first half, Haven scored on an eight-yard run. A bad snap led to a missed conversion and AJ led 6-0.
  The Tigers responded in 19 seconds. The Volunteers kicked the ball away from Tyrell Abney and Saluda got the ball at the Tiger 43. Abney showed why no one wants to kick to him, when on first down he got the ball on the jet sweep and sped  down the sidelines for a 57-yard scoring run. Strickland’s kick gave the Tigers a 7-6 lead with 10:46 to go in the half.
  Strickland’s kick went into the end zone and the Volunteers  began another impressive drive that failed when Haven’s fumble at the Saluda five-yard-line was recovered by the Tigers’ Ashton Parkman.
  Following Andrew Jackson’s only punt of the night, the Tigers expanded the lead behind the passing of Bell. Covering 86-yards, the drive featured five completions in six attempts by Bell. With just 35.5 seconds to go in the half. Bell found Raquam Hartley in the end zone for a 16-yard touchdown pass. Strick-land’s kick gave Saluda a 14-6 halftime lead.
  Andrew Jackson received the opening kick-off of the second half and moved 70-yards to cut the Tiger lead. Havens again was the catalyst, running seven times and completing a 34-yard pass to another Volunteer standout, Heath Gandy. Havens scored the touchdown on a 14-yard run. The run for two failed and Saluda maintained the lead, 14-12, with 7:33 to go in the third quarter.
  Another short kick-off gave the Tigers the ball at their own 41. Running back Malik Brooks keyed the drive when he got the necessary yardage on fourth down at the AJ 11. Brooks later scored on a five-yard run. Strickland made the score 21-12 with 2:47 to go in the quarter.
  The Volunteers next threat ended when Saluda sophomore CJ Bosket intercepted Haven’s pass at the Saluda 15-yard-line.
  The Tigers got one first down before punting. The Volunteers drove to the Saluda 30 where they faced fourth and one. Haven, who had played the entire game in the shotgun formation, lined up under center and the Tiger defense stuffed him for no gain on the quarterback sneak.
  The Volunteers would soon get the ball back when Bell threw his second interception of the year, giving AJ the ball at the Saluda 36.
  Following a Volunteer penalty on first down, Haven’s pass was picked off by Malcolm Wiggins, and the North-South selection returned the ball 50-yards to the Andrew Jackson 18.
  The Tigers got to the 13 and faced fourth and five. Brooks lined up in the Saluda version of the Wildcats, got the snap, found a hole and scampered into the end zone for the score. Strickland broke the state record with his 69th straight PAT kick and the Tigers led 28-12 with 3:07 to go in the game.
  The Tigers were able to hold on and raised their record to 11-1.
  Brooks led the Tigers with 102 yards on 23 carries. Bell threw for 139.
  AJ’s Havens had the best individual performance against the Tigers this year, rushing for 209 yards and passing for 101.
  With the victory, the 2016 Tigers tie the 1963 and 1973 teams for the second more wins in school history, 11.
  The Tigers also topped the 500-point total on the season. They now have scored 512.
  Strickland kicked the game wining field goal to beat Keenan in the last year’s opening round of the playoffs. He also missed a PAT in the game. Since that point he has made 69 straight kicks. His 72-points breaks his record from last year as the most points ever scored by a Saluda kicker. Remarkably, Saluda’s back-up kicker Francisco Yepez has scored 11 points himself, including a 40-yard field goal! Yepez has missed one PAT, meaning the Tiger kickers have made 74-75 extra point kicks this season.
  The Tigers will once again be at home Friday, when they host Liberty, 8-4,  a 31-7 winner over Blacksburg last week.
  Kick-off is at 7:30.

SHS Basketball Info 

   November 28th - December 3rd):- The JV boys’ games are canceled for this week due to football playoffs.
  Friday’s varsity game at Ridge Spring-Monetta has been moved to Thursday, December 1st, with the girls’ game starting at 6 pm and the boys’ game to follow.
  The varsity teams will play Ninety Six at home on Saturday, December 3rd with the girls’ game starting at 3:30 and the boys’ game to follow.