Football August 31

Tigers Cruise By Trojans, 43-0

  Led by a smothering defense, Saluda blanked Ridge Spring-Monetta 43-0 Friday at Davis Field in Monetta.
  While the offense took an entire quarter before it got going, the Tiger defense excelled all night, whether being manned by starters or backups. The Trojans managed just four first downs, and 71 yards in total offense.
  Saluda led 7-0 at the end of the first quarter, despite not earning a single first down.
  The score was set up by a blocked punt that the Tigers recovered at the Trojan eight-yard line. The “shoot yourself in the foot” disease from the Thurmond game continued as Saluda was flagged for a five yard penalty on first down. Unlike last week, however, the Tigers were able to overcome the penalty and quarterback Noah Bell scored the game’s first touchdown on a one-yard run. Francisco Yepez kicked the PAT for a 7-0  lead,
 The Tiger offense, that managed just 17 yards in offense in the first quarter, came to life in the second period.
  On the fourth play of the second quarter, an excellent Trojan punt by Kelson Palmer pinned the Tigers at their own two-yard line. From there Saluda mounted a seven-play, 98-yard scoring drive. The highlight of the drive was a spectacular, diving catch by Raquon Hartley at the end of a 36-yard pass from Bell to Trojan 37-yard-line.
  Tailback Kentavius Burton, forced into action when starter  Kendarius Graham was injured on his first carry of the night, paced the rest of the drive, gaining 19-yards on one carry, and scoring the touchdown on a 14-yard run. Yepez made it 14-0 with 7:30 remaining in the first half.
  Another long Palmer punt, this one covering 46-yards, put the Tigers on their own 12, and they again were successful on another long scoring drive. Burton’s running, and Bell’s passing led the march. The touchdown came on a pass from Bell the Hartley that covered 36-yards. Yepez’ kick made the score 21-0 with only 2:37 go in the second quarter.
  A penalty and a Tiger sack of Trojan quarterback Tyson Bettis, put RSM at the ten. A three-yard pass completion moved the ball to the 13, and on fourth down a bad snap on the punt sailed out of the end zone for a Saluda safety and a 23-0 lead.
  The clock showed 1:49 left in the half and the Trojans had to kick-off to the Saluda. Madison Williams returned the ball to the Tiger 40.
  Bell connected with CJ Bosket twice on passes covering 12 and 14 yards respectively, then found O’Syruis Springs in the corner of the end zone for a 26-yard score. The PAT failed and Saluda led 29-0 at halftime.
  The Tigers’ Demond Johnson intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble on back-to-back Trojan possessions, but the Tiger offense took most of most of the quarter off, not earning a first down until the period was almost over.
  A punt by Yepez, forced the Trojans to start from their own nine-yard-line. Unable to move, RSM punted and Saluda got the ball at the Trojan 42.
  A 12-yard-run by Burton got the drive off to a good start. Two plays later, Bell found Jay Baker for a 20-yard completion to the one-yard-line. Baker lined up in the Wildcat and scored on the next play. Yepez gave Saluda a 36-0 lead with 47.2 left in the  quarter.
  On Saluda’s first possession of the fourth quarter, freshman quarterback Williams came into the game and on his first carry of the year gained 58-yards to the RSM one. Tanner Maroney scored the first touchdown of his career on the next play. Yepez’ kick completed Saluda’s scoring at 43-0 with 9:42 to go  in the game.
  Saluda’s back-ups played the rest of the game.
  Burton led the Tiger ground game with 79-yards on 14 carries. Bell completed 13-21 passes for 216 and two scores. Bosket, who didn’t catch a pass against Thurmond, caught five for 52 yards.
  The Tigers will have their third straight road trip of the season, when they travel to Mid-Carolina Friday. The Rebels fell 28-13 to Chapin last week.
  Kick-off is at 7:30.

FARM BUREAU AMBASSADORS - Ginger Wertz and Wyatt Dolittle won the Ambassador contests at the Saluda County Farm Bureau’s annual meeting, held Thurs., Aug. 24, at the Saluda Shrine Club. (Standard-Sentinel photo)

FARM BUREAU JUNIOR TALENT WINNER - Sophie Erle won the jun ior takent contest at the Saluda County Farm Bureau’s annual meeting, held Thurs., Aug. 24, at the Saluda Shrine Club. (Standard-Sentinel photo)