Bulldogs Beat Tigers

ONLY SCORE - Saluda sophomore quarterback Jonah McCary (15), scores Saluda’s only touchdown in the Tigers’ 13-8 loss to Newberry Friday. Also pictured are Tyleke Mathis (2), and Montevious Baker (22). (Photo by Trey Fingerlin)


Bulldogs Edge  Tigers, 13-8

  Saluda’s five-year streak of going deep into the state play-offs ended Fri., Oct. 30, when the Tigers lost a 13-8 heartbreaker to Newberry on Senior Night at the Bettis Herlong Stadium at Mathews Field.
  The Bulldogs and Tigers both needed a win to keep their play-off hopes alive in this COVID-shortened season, and the game came down to taking advantage of scoring opportunities. Newberry had two opportunities and scored both times. Saluda had four scoring chances but only scored once.
  Newberry fumbled on their first possession of the game, and Saluda recovered at the Bulldog 38. A 15-yard penalty against Newberry gave Saluda a first down at the Bulldog 23, but the Tigers went backwards with two five yard penalties, and on fourth down at the 36, quarterback Jonah McCary got off 20-yard punt.
  Newberry’s first scoring drive began in the first quarter and ended in the second. The Bulldogs used their strong rushing attack to plow through the Saluda defense. On the first play of the second quarter, Bulldog tailback K.J. Robinson scored on a nine-yard run. The 69-yard drive took seven plays. Roland Garcia kicked the point after and Newberry led 7-0 with 11:52 left in the first half.
  The second Newberry fumble of the night led to Saluda’s first and only score of the game. Starting at the Bulldog 47, the Tigers mixed the pass and the run to march in for the score. The touchdown came on a four yard run by McCary. On the PAT, the Tigers used some trickeration, and McCary flipped the ball over his head and Roderick Rolland caught the ball and ran it on for the two point play, giving the Tigers an 8-7 lead with 5:29 to go in the half.
  On the second possession of he third quarter, Newberry’s return man fumbled Sam Espinoza’s punt, and Saluda’s Jedarius Stevens scooped up the ball and ran in for a touchdown. Unfortunately, you can’t advance a fumbled punt, but the Tigers got the ball at the Newberry 12.
  Like their first scoring threat, the Tigers went backwards instead of forward, and Espinoza’s 32-yard field goal attempt from the 15 was no good on fourth down.
  Mirroring the first quarter, when they began a scoring drive in one quarter and scored in the next, the Bulldogs  began at their own 15 in the third quarter. Staying exclusively on the ground, Newberry moved 85-yards in 12 plays. The touchdown came on a seven-yard run by Robinson. The pass for two failed and Newberry led 13-8 with 9:17 to go in the game.
  The Tigers got the kickoff at their own 27 and moved down the field for the potential game leading score. With 5:11 to go in the game, McCary thew at 23-yard touchdown pass to Jabari Baker, but the Tigers were penalized five yards for illegal procedure. The Tigers got as close as the Newberry 15, where McCary’s six yard pass to Mathis on fourth down was not enough for the first down.
  Once again, the Tiger defense could not stop the Bulldog rushing attack and he Bulldogs were able to run out the clock and take the big win.
  Saluda was supposed to be playing Blacksburg Friday, but because Newberry had to postpone the original meeting because of an COVID situation, the Blacksburg meeting was cancelled and Newberry took the place on the schedule. It was the second straight loss for the Tigers against teams that missed two weeks because of COVID.
  Saluda, 2-3, completes this strange season Friday at old rival Ninety Six. The Wildcats are 2-4.
  Kick-off is at 7:30.

BIG TURN OUT FOR TRUNK OR TREAT - The Sheriff’s Office’s annual Halloween Trunk or Treat event was different this year for obvious reasons. In normal years, organizations giving away candy to trick or treaters line the track at the Recreation Complex, and the attendees walk around the track to each spot. This year, however, with COVID-19 the event became a drive-thru and the cars spilled into the Batesburg Hwy. (Standard-Sentinel photo)