Saluda Beats Trojans

THE CATCH - Saluda’s one-time team manager Fulton Winn makes a spectacular catch. despite great coverage by RSM’s Ben Kirk in Friday’s 55-12 Saluda win in Monetta. (Standard-Sentinel photo )

Tigers Cruise By Trojans, 55-12

  Sophomore Madison Williams caught three touchdown passes and threw for another, as Saluda beat Ridge Spring-Monetta 55-12 Fri., Aug. 24.
  The game was both historic and memorable.
  Friday was the last time the two old rivals will meet at the current Walter Davis Field in Monetta. In two years, RSM will have a new high school and new football stadium.
  The game was one Saluda fans present will never forget, when late in the fourth quarter Saluda’s popular, water-boy/manager turned football player Fulton Winn caught a touchdown pass. The entire team rushed to the end zone to celebrate with him. The play was even more special for Fulton’s family, as his grandfather, Clinton Winn, was buried Monday.
  A high school game may have 12 minute quarters, but the first half of the Saluda-RSM game lasted an hour and a half .
  On the first possession of the game, RSM quarterback Remedee Leaphart was sacked and fumbled. Matthew Herlong recovered the ball at the Trojan 17.
  Jeremiah Stevens lost a yard on first down, but on the next play quarterback Noah Bell connected with Williams for an 18-yard score. Francisco Yepez kicked the first of his seven straight extra points and Saluda led 7-0 with 10.53 to go in the first quarter.
  Leaphart made up for his fumble on RSM’s possession after the kick-off. On the fifth play of the drive, Leaphart found an open Jerry Tyler and he sped down the sideline for a 61-yard touchdown. Randy Rosales kick was no good, making the score 7-6 with 8:32 left.
  It took the Tigers 12 seconds to respond. Saluda’s CJ Bosket took the kick-off and returned it 80-yards for the score. Yepez made it 14-6 with 8:20 remaining in the opening period.
  The two teams competed in a punt-fest the rest of the quarter.
  A 57-yard run by Stevens set up Saluda’s next score, which came on the first play of the second quarter. Bell threw 20 yards to Bosket for the score. Yepez kick gave Saluda a 21-6 lead with 11:54 to go in the first half.
  With 8:09 to go, RSM’s outstanding junior running back Collier Sullivan broke free for a 54-yard touchdown. The two point try failed and Saluda led 21-12.
  RSM’s onside kick failed and Saluda got the ball at the Trojan 49. On the fourth play of the drive, Bell and Williams hooked up again for a score, this one covering 28-yards. Yepez made it 28-12 with 6:03 remaining.
  Saluda’s final score of the first half came on a 29-yard run by Stevens. Yepez PAT kick upped Saluda’s lead to 35-12, but the entertainment wasn’t over.
  Saluda lineman Grey Riley intercepted Leaphart’s pass and returned it to the Trojan five. On fourth and goal at the RSM one, Stevens fumbled and a RSM player scooped it up and was finally tackled by Saluda’s Dallan Wright at 49. The Trojan fumbled and Saluda recovered at the RSM 39.
  Saluda got to the 15, but Bell’s pass was picked off by Tyler, ending the first half’s scoring.
  Saluda’s next touchdown came with 5:31 to go in the third quarter. Bell and Williams connected for the third time for the touchdown. The play covered 30 yards.  Yepez upped the score to 42-12.
  On the next possession, the Trojans faced four and one at the Saluda 44 and went for it. Leaphart was tackled behind the line by Tiger linebacker Bubba Robinson. Leaphart fumbled and Robinson recovered and ran 40-yards for the touchdown. Yepez’ kick made it 49-12.
  Saluda’s reserves played the rest of the night. One of them, Dalton Hyler, intercepted a Leaphart pass and retuned it to the RSM 45.
  The referees made the decision to keep the clock continuously running in the fourth quarter.
  Midway in the final stanza, Saluda faced third and three at the Trojan 30, and back-up quarterback Williams threw to Winn in the end zone, and the junior made a spectacular catch for the score. The bench clearing player celebration, resulted in a 15-yard penalty against the Tigers, and Yepez missed his 38-yard extra point attempt, completing the scoring at 55-12.
  Stevens had the best game of his career, rushing for 147 yards on 14 carries. Bell completed nine of 20 passes for 131 yards and four touchdowns.
  The Tigers finished with 184 yards rushing and 161 passing. While they only scored 12 points, the Trojans moved the ball well at times, rushing for 80 yards and passing for 133.
  Saluda will host their third old rival in a row, when 3-A Mid-Carolina comes town Friday. After winning their opener over Whitmire, where RSM will travel Friday,  the Rebels fell to 5-A Chapin  17-13 last week.
  Kick-off is at 7:30 p.m.