Football September 7

ON THE WAY- Saluda’s Jay Baker  breaks into the clear for a 67-yard punt return touchdown in the Tigers 28-21 win at Mid-Carolina Thursday. Also pictured is Sam Padgett (#72).  (SHS photo by Dean Roesner)

Tigers Edge Rebels, 28-21

  Noah Bell’s 46-yard touchdown pass to CJ Bosket with 59.5 seconds to go in the game gave Saluda a come from behind win over upset minded Mid-Carolina at the Rebel Field, Thurs., Aug. 31.
  Because of the threat of bad weather on Friday, the game was moved to Thursday, and the Tiger offense played most of the game like they were a day behind. They came through, however, when it counted.
  It looked like the game was going to be a cake-walk, when the Tigers got off to a 14-0 lead with only half of the first quarter gone.
  The Rebels fumbled the opening kick-off and Saluda’s Chrishon Quattlebaum scooped up the ball and ran to the Rebel nine-yard-line.
  Jay Baker came in to run the Wildcat, and on third down, he scored from the one. Francisco Yepez kicked the PAT and Saluda led 7-0 with 10:55 remaining in the first quarter.
  Saluda’s defense sacked Mid-Carolina’s quarterback Cade Ruff for a ten-yard loss on third down on the Rebel’s first possession of the game. Ruff stayed on to punt, and his 42-yard kick was hauled in by Baker at the 33-yard-line, he found an opening and sped down the sidelines for a 67-yard touchdown return. Yepez kick gave the Tigers a 14-0 lead.

  Saluda would not score again until seven minutes remained in the game.
  Ruff’s outstanding punting hemmed the Tigers inside the ten-yard-line twice in the first quarter.
  The second one paid dividends, when Bell, attempting to throw a screen pass to tight end Caleb McDaniel, threw the ball right into the hands of Rebel linebacker Curtis Graham and he took a couple of steps into the end zone for the score. The kick was blocked and the Tigers led 14-8 with 1:06 to go in the first quarter.
  The Tiger defense came through with a big play in the second quarter when they stopped the Rebels Drew Moore on a fourth down run at the Saluda 24-yard-line.
  The offense managed one yard on three plays, and Ashton Parkman’s 25-yard punt gave MC the ball at the 50-yard-line. The Rebels moved from there to tie the game. The touchdown came with 38.1 seconds to go in the half on a two-yard run by Jalen Bates-Caldwell. BJ Tobe was successful on the two-point conversion run, and the score was tied at halftime.
  Against a team on a 13-game losing streak, Saluda had one of the worst offensive one half performances in school history. The Tigers finished the first half with no first downs, no yards passing, and three yards rushing.
  Tiger coaches apparently had a “word of prayer” with the team at halftime, because Saluda received the opening kick-off of the second half and began a long drive. At the Rebel 10, Kentavious Burton broke free for what would have been an easy score, but he slipped down at the two-yard-line.
  That proved be a killer, as Baker was stopped for no gain twice in the Wildcat, then Bell came it to try a pass on third down and was sacked for an eight-yard-loss. Yepez came on to attempt a 32-yard field goal, but it was blocked.
  At that point, all signs pointed toward Saluda ending another long Mid-Carolina losing streak. In 2014 the Rebels returned a Saluda fumble for a score with a minute to go in the game to end an 18-game losing streak.
  The signs continued to point toward an upset when Mid-Carolina began an 84-yard drive in the third quarter, that ended with a Bates-Caldwell five-yard-touchdown run with 10:07 left in the game. Drew Dominick’s kick gave the Rebels a 21-14.
  On first down after the kick-off, Bell was sacked for a nine-yard loss, but on the next play, he connected with Raquon Hartley for a 56-yard gain to the Rebel 21-yard-line. Later, Bell hit Madison Williams for a 13-yard gain to the Rebel one. Baker came in and scored his third touchdown of the night with 7:02 to go. Yepez kicked the all-important tying point.
  The Tiger defense held on MC’s next possession, and Ruff’s 42-yard-punt forced the Tigers to start at their own 25.
  Bell’s 14-yard run on first down got the drive going. On third down at the Rebel 46, Bell threw a perfect strike to CJ Bosket, who hauled in the pass for the score. Yepez kick made wit 28-21 with only 59.5 seconds to go in the game.
  The Rebels reeled off runs of 16 and 18 yards as time was running out, but the last ditch effort ended on a incomplete pass on fourth down.
  Mid-Carolina’s losing streak was extended to 14-games, but the Rebels gave a valiant effort, holding Saluda to only 193-yards in offense, the lowest total since the Midland Valley game in 2014.
  While the Tigers only managed 193-yards in offense, they got 190 of those in the second half.
  Bell, whose only completion in the first half was to a Mid-Carolina player, completed seven of nine passes in the second half for 133 yards and the big scoring pass.
  The Tigers raised their record to 2-1, and have this week off. After three straight games on the road, the Tigers have their first home game of the season, when they host arch-rival Batesburg-Leesville on Sept. 15.
  Kick-off will be at 7:30 p.m.

RSM HOSA FUNDRAISER - At Jim Satcher Motor Dealership, RSM HOSA hosted a fundraising car wash on September 2nd. The sunny day brought in many cars to be washed by RSM HOSA members. The members made 135 dollars. The money made goes to the HOSA members that volunteered to work so they can attend the HOSA State Leadership Conference in Charleston, SC. RSM HOSA will be doing another car wash on September 23rd, location is to be announced soon. (Written by Summer Cherry, senior and HOSA historian)