Tigers Fall 34-24

NEW BANNER - Fans attending the Saluda-Gray Collegiate game Friday got to see the new banner on the scoreboard that lists the football state champions, 1941, 1962, 1963 and 2019. (Photo by Jeanette Ergle Wilder)

Gray Turns Tigers, 34-24

  In what was labeled the greatest win in school history, Gray Collegiate defeated Saluda 34-24 Fri., Oct. 9, at the Bettis Herlong Stadium at Mathews Field.
  The last time the defending state champions lost was at home against Batesburg-Leesville in the last regular season game of 2019. Ironically, the B&L quarterback in that game Tre Robinson has made his way to Gray Collegiate and he, running back KZ Adams and an offensive line that averaged 293-lbs. haunted the Tiger defense all night.
  The game started well for Saluda, when Gray’s up man fumbled Sam Espinoza’s pooch kick-off. The Tigers recovered at the War Eagle 36. On the fifth play of the drive, Montrevious Baker scored on a 15-yard run. Jonah McCary ran in the two point play and the Tigers led  8-0, with 10:27 to go in the first quarter.
  The War Eagle responded after the kick-off with a 12-play, 72-yard drive. The touchdown came on a four-yard-run by Adams with 4:31 to go in the quarter. Sean Anderson kicked the point after.
  It appeared early on Tigers were going to have to match Gray score-for-score, but the offense could only manage six-yards on three plays after the War Eagle kick-off. Espinoza’s punt was returned 36-yards by Chris Rhone to the Saluda 26.
  On the third play, Adams ran it in from 28-yards out. Anderson’s kick gave the War Eagles at 14-8 lead.
  In the second quarter, critical  penalties prevented Saluda from possibly taking the lead. With the ball at the Gray 12, the Tigers were penalized 10-yards for holding. A 14-yard pass from McCary to Tyleke Mathis got the ball to the eight-yard line, where the Tigers faced fourth one. Saluda was going for it, but a Tiger lineman jumped, and after the five-yard penalty, Espinoza came on to kick a 30-yard field goal with 3:53 to go in the half. The 14-11 score stood until halftime.
  The turning point in the game came on the opening drive of the second half. Saluda received the kick-off and drove to the Gray Collegiate one, where they faced fourth and one. M. Baker was stopped at the one-foot-line.
  From there, the War Eagle drove 99-yards and two feet in 15 plays to make the score 21-11 with 3:30 to go in the third. The score came on a 20-yard pass from Robinson to Rhone. Anderson made the kick.
  The Tigers had  been turnover free on the season, but on the first play after the kick-off, McCary’s pass was picked off at the War Eagle 45. With the ball at the Saluda 38, Robinson broke loose for a touchdown run. Robinson was flagged for taunting on the run, and Anderson missed the 35-yard extra point try.
  With 8:32 to go in the game, the Tigers got on the board on a 23-yard pass from McCary to Jabari Baker. The run for two failed and the Tigers trailed 27-17.
  The Tigers needed to get the ball back quickly, but behind the running of Adams, the War Eagles drove 61-yards in 15 plays. Adams, who scored the touchdown, carried the ball 13 times on the drive to finish the game with 226 yards on 35 attempts. Anderson’s kick made the score 34-17 with just 1:42 to go.
  There was no quit in the Tiger team. After the kick-off, McCary completed four straight passes, included a 23-yard scoring pass to Zion Wright, who looked a lot like his record setting  big brother Dallan in making the catch. Espinoza completed the scoring at 34-24 with 24 ticks to go.
  The game was a battle to Top Ten 2A teams, and the stats were close. Gray Collegiate finished with 376 yards, while the Tigers had 365.
  The difference in the game was the huge offensive and defensive lines for the War Eagles.
  M.  Baker led the Tigers on the ground with 70-yards on 20 carries. McCary had a good game, passing for 292-yards and two touchdowns. Seven receivers caught passes. All of the Tigers in the offensive stats are underclassmen.
  Saluda will make its second trip to the Capital City Friday, when they take on the Columbia Capitols.
  Check the Tiger website and social media for ticket information.
  Kick-off is at 7:30.

Saluda High  School Scores

GIRLS VARSITY TENNIS
  Saluda High School Girls Varsity Tennis fell to Newberry High School 4-3Tuesday, October 6.The Tigers fell to Newberry in an extremely hard played match Tuesday night at home.Saluda girls fought hard to compete with a strong Newberry team. We were able to secure some key wins from some Saluda girls that were able to keep us close.However, it didn’t end up falling in our favor. The Tigers kept a great attitude the entire match and were never phased by the score. Saluda will face Newberry for a third time to determine place in the region.Winners for Saluda:Ella Gentry, Abby Gentry, Sarah Shore/Madison DeVore (Doubles). The Tigers moved to 5-2 on the season and 4-1 in the region.
  Saluda High School Girls Varsity Tennis beat Batesburg-Leesville High School 6-0 Wednesday, October 7.
  The Tigers got a sweep on Wednesday night against region rival Batesburg-Leesville.All of the matches were long and the girls played hard for every single point.I am very proud of the determination that was visible during each match.Winners for Saluda:Karra Canady (Won in a Tie breaker)Gracie BurgessCarter Collins, Ella GentryAbby Gentry, Sarah Shore/Madison DeVore. Saluda moves to 6-2 on the season and 5-1 in the region.