Football August 24

Rebels Crush Tigers, 35-6

  In the immortal words of Yogi Berra, the Saluda-Strom Thurmond game was deja vu all over again.
  Last season, the Rebels spanked the Tigers 38-7 at the Bettis Herlong Stadium at Matthew Field.
  Friday in Johnston, fans witnessed much of the same, as Thurmond beat the Tigers 35-6.
  Saluda dominated much of the first quarter, but Tiger mistakes help shift the momentum to the Rebels, and Saluda never recovered.
  Behind the passing of sophomore quarterback Noah Bell, Saluda received the opening kick and moved from the Tiger 25 to the Rebel 42,  where Kentavius Graham broke a long run to inside the Rebel 30. Unfortunately, the Tigers were flagged for holding on the play, which set the ball all the way back to the Saluda 42.
  Saluda gained 17 of the needed 20 yards for a first down with Bell completions, and lined up to go for it on fourth down at the Rebel 39, but a five yard penalty set up a Tiger to punt. A high snap forced punter Ashton Parkman to run and he was tackled well short of the first down marker. Thurmond took over at their own 46.
  Saluda’s defense held, and a Rebel punt gave the Tigers the ball at their own 31. From that point, the Tigers moved to the Rebel 13-yard, where a five-yard-penalty on first down killed the drive.
  Last year, with Dylan Strickland on the team, the Tigers would have attempted a field goal, but with kicker Francisco Yepez unable to play, Saluda went for it on fourth down.
  That pretty much ended the game for Saluda on Bell’s incompleted pass. The Rebels took over at their own 13 and never looked back.
  The 87-yard scoring drive ended on the second play of the second quarter. Jaquan Edwards scored the first TD of the season on a one yard run. Lawson Reel kicked the point after and Thurmond led 7-0 with 11:23 to go in the second quarter.
  After the kick-off Saluda moved to the Tiger 44 and faced fourth and less that a yard. Saluda’s gamble on fourth down failed, when Graham was stuffed short of the maker.
  From the Saluda 44, the Rebels moved in for the score in only four plays. The touchdown came on a six-yard-run by Edwards. Reel made it 14-0 with 8:19 to go in the half.
  Later in the period, a Reel punt pinned the Tigers own their own eight-yard. On fourth down from the seven, Parkman got off a 37-yard punt to the Tiger 44.
  With 1:07 to go in the half, quarterback Jaquan Harris found 6-3, 228-lb tight end Tyrek Williams for a 15-yard touchdown play. Reel gave Thurmond a 21-0 halftime lead.
  How much did the momentum change, when Saluda failed on the fourth down attempt at the Rebel 13? At that point, the Tigers have five first downs and 107-yards in offense, including 103 through the air. The rest of the half, the Tigers did not get another first down and gained just 11 total yards.
  The Rebels went from no first downs an minus two total yards, to nine first downs and 166-yards in total offense.
  Strom Thurmond’s fire did not go out at halftime.
  The Rebels received the opening kick-off of the second half and moved 80-yards in six plays. Edwards scored his third touchdown of the game on a three-yard run. Reel was true on the kick and Thurmond led 28-0 with 10:02 to go in the third quarter.
  The Tiger offense came alive after the Rebel kick-off, but three more penalties held Saluda back and the drive died on fourth down at the Rebel 28 on an incomplete pass.
  Saluda’s next drive resulted in some yards, but it too ended on a fourth down failure. This was a run by Bell at the Rebel 37.
  From that point, Thurmond moved 63-yards in five plays. Harris scored the touchdown on a 20-yard run. Reel completed the Rebel scoring at 35-0. The clock showed 9:14 to go in the game.
  After an 18-yard kick-off return by Jay Baker, Saluda began at the 35 and put together a 65-yard scoring drive. The big play was a 23-yard run by Kentavius Burton. Twice Bell was sacked, but he was able to regain the lost yardage through the air. Finally, Bell scored on a seven-yard run. The extra point try was botched, and the score stood at 35-6 with just 1:35 to go in the game. The Rebels back-ups ran out the score.
  Statistically, the game was close. Both teams had 15 first downs. Saluda had 298 in total offense, while the Rebels had 341.
  Bell led the Tigers, completing 19 of 37 passed for 188 yards. He also rushed for 35-yards. Baker caught six passes for 89 yards.
  Many Tiger fans said it was obvious Saluda missed record breaking rusher Malik Brooks, but may have forgotten Rebels held him to only 45-yards rushing last year, one of the lowest totals for his career.
  Friday, the Tigers travel to  their next arch-rival in the pre-region schedule, Ridge Spring-Monetta. The Trojans fell 40-16 to Batesburg-Leesville in “Week Zero.”
  Kick-off is at 7:30 p.m.


Knights Fighting Injuries To Start 2017 Season

By: Gerald Doolittle
Special Writer

  Batesburg-Leesville, S.C. -  The W.W. King Academy Knights of Coach Zach Matthews hope to improve on their 2016 numbers where they finished with a 10-1 record and runners-up to Andrew Jackson Academy in Division Two of SCISA 8-Man football.
  The Knights started the 2017 season against Coastal Christian Preparatory School with a rash of injuries. 
  The Knights started the year off with sixteen players on their roster.  Despite having two players injured before the first game and four players hurt in the opener, the Knights will have 10 players to dress out for game two.
  The Knights started the game at Coastal Christian with an opening drive of 62 yards in 9 plays to take a 6-0 lead on a Jackson Parrish 2 yard touchdown.
  Coastal Christian took advantage of the Knights depleted ranks to score five unanswered touchdowns to take a 36-6 lead.   Cougar quarterback, Robert Crates, completed 7 of 14 passes for 4 touchdowns of 40, 31,47 and 57 yards.  His total passing yards for the game was 204 yards.  The Cougars scored one more touchdown to complete the 42-14 win.
  The Knights offense was led by quarterback Jackson Parrish (Sr.).   Parrish rushed for 102 yards on 17 rushes, for touchdown runs of 2 and 58 yards.  He completed 4 of 11 passes for 76 yards.
  Other offensive stars for the Knights were Bryan Doolittle (Jr.) with 85 yards rushing on 20 carries and Truman Caughman (Sr.) with 70 yards on 4 receptions.
  Caughman also led the Knight defense with 14 tackles.  Garrett Doolittle (8th) followed with 13 tackles.  Parrish, Bryan Doolittle, Sam Mitchell (Fr.) and Joe Sauls (So.) followed with 10, 8, 7 and 7 tackles.
  Parrish had 3 pass knock downs and Caughman and Sauls had one pass knock down.  Carter Welsh (Sr.) had a fumble recovery for the Knights.
  Coach Matthews and staff will work hard to get the team ready for Patrick Henry in game two, which will be played in Estill, SC on August 25th.