Saluda Beats Fox Creeks

TOUCHDOWN - Saluda’s Raquon Hartley scored the Tigers’ final touchdown of the night on a 27-yard pass from Noah Bell in the third quarter of the 41-0 win over Fox Creek. (Photo by Trey Fingerlin)

Tigers Crush Predators, 41-0

  Saluda quarterback Noah Bell threw five touchdown passes, leading Saluda to a 41-0 Homecoming win over Fox Creek Fri., Oct. 12.
  In throwing for the scores, Bell upped his 2018 touchdown pass total to 21, breaking Ryan Nichols’ season touchdown pass record of 20, set in 2006.  The five touchdown passes also matches Nichols’ game total, he accomplished twice. The five TDs in a game may also be a school record. They are at least a modern record. Incidently, Nichols’ head coach was Bell’s father, Wayne.
    An interception by Saluda’s O’Syruis Springs set-up the Tigers’ first score of the night. The 75-yard drive was covered in 12 plays.
  The touchdown came on a two-yard pass from Bell to Madison Williams. Francisco Yepez’ kick gave Saluda a 7-0 lead with 3:23 to go in the first quarter.
  Fox Creek was four and out after the kick-off. A 29-yard punt and CJ Bosket’s return gave Saluda the ball at Predator 41. On first down Bell lofted a pass in the direction of Zaye Bryant, and the junior hauled it in for the score. Yepez made it 14-0 with 1:35 to go in the quarter.
  Fox Creek got off a good drive after the kick-off, moving to the Saluda 27, where they failed to convert on a fourth down pass.
  From the 27, Saluda moved to the Predator 45, facing third and one. Bell and Bryant hooked up again. Bryant caught the pass, then had the ball pop straight up. Bryant caught it for the second time, and made his way into the end zone, completing  the 55-yard play. Yepez missed his third :PAT of the year, and Saluda led 20-0 with 9:37 to go in the first half.
  Fox Creek had another good drive after the kick-off. This threat ended at the Saluda 36, when Bubba Robinson intercepted a pass and made a spectacular return of 70-yards for the touchdowns. It was Robinson’s fourth defensive touchdown of the season. Yepez was back on mark with his kick, and Saluda led 27-0 with 5:47 to go in the half.
  Fox Creek’s nine play drive after the kick-of got as close as the Saluda 33, when Raquon Hartley put an end of the threat with Saluda’s third interception of the half.
  Bell took to the air from the Tiger 13-yard line, hitting Williams with passes of 56 and 17-yards. Hartley got rewarded for his interception, when Bell threw to him for a 12-yard touchdown pass with just 14.5 seconds to go in the half. Yepez made the halftime score 34-0.
  The half ended with a minor scuffle on the Fox Creek sideline. Nine Predators were suspended from the remainder of the game. No Tigers were cited.
  Saluda received the opening kick-off of the second half and promptly upped the score to 41-0.
  Springs’ kick-off return gave the Tigers the ball at their own 44. Bell gained 16-yards on first down, and two plays later he threw 27-yards to Hartley for the score. Yepez completed the scoring with 9:42 to go in the third quarter.
  From that point on Coach Stewart Young called off the dogs. With the  Jayvee game called off the night before due to the hurricane, many of the junior varsity players got some playing time, including quarterback Montavious Baker, who played the rest of the game.
  Along with completing 14 of 20 passes for 250-yards, Bell also led the Tigers in rushing, gaining 71-yards on seven carries.
  After playing at Abbeville in the Upperstate Championship game in the previous three seasons, the Tigers (5-3, 2-1) will finally get to play the Panthers at home Friday night.
  Many have called the unbeaten Panthers one of the best teams in the state on any level. They are ranked number one in 2-A. The Panthers beat Silver Bluff 36-7 last Friday and defeated Fox Creek 50-0 the week before.
  Kick-off is at 7:30 p.m.

SHS HOMECOMING QUEEN  - India Posey, center, sponsoring Raquon Hartley, was crowned Saluda High’s Homecoming queen Friday at halftime of the Fox Creek game. Courtney Martin, left, sponsoring Francisco Yepez, was first runner-up, and Reagan Fingerlin, right, sponsoring Grey Riley, was second runner-up. (SHS photo by Dean Roesner)