Tigers Top Shamrocks

GREAT DEFENSE - Saluda’s CJ Bosket (15) and Ashton Parkman (34)   tackle the Eau Claire running back for a loss in Friday’s 39-7 win. The Tigers held the Shamrocks to minus-58 yards rushing in the game.  (Photo by Trey Fingerlin)

Tigers Pick Shamrocks, 39-7

  Behind a stifling defense, Saluda opened region play with a 39-7 victory over Eau Claire Fri., Sept. 29, at the Bettis Herlong Stadium at Matthews Field.
  The Tiger defenders recovered three fumbles, intercepted two passes, and held the Shamrocks to four first downs minus-58 yards rushing. Eau Claire did get 134 yards through the air, but 94 of those came on one pass, long after the game had been decided.
  Offensively, Saluda went conservative against the 0-6 Shamrocks. Noah Bell, who passed for a school record 337-yards last week, rushed for more yards against the Shamrocks, 62, than he passed, 60.
  When the first quarter ended in a 0-0 tie, Tigers fans began to wonder if this game was going to be like the last time Saluda played a winless team, Mid-Carolina, and the Tigers had to stage a fourth quarter comeback to win.
  The second quarter alleviated those concerns.
  On the second play of the quarter, Francisco Yepez kicked a 30-yard field goal, ending a 58-yard, 13 play dive.
  After Yepez’ kick-off., Eau Claire went backwards and ended up punting from the Shamrock four.
  Saluda got the ball at the EC 34 and stayed on the ground to drive in for the score in seven plays. Bell scored on a one-yard run with 6:26 to go in the first half. Yepez kick was blocked and Saluda led 9-0.
  Yepez kickoff was returned to the Shamrock 17. Again, the Tiger defense pushed the Eau Claire offense in the wrong the direction, and the Shamrocks punted from the ten.
  Jay Baker returned the Shamrock punt to the Eau Claire 30. On the fifth play of the drive, Bell passed 16-yards to O’Syruis Springs for the touchdown. Yepez kick upped Saluda’s lead to 16-0.
  Yepez kick-off to the two yard line was returned to the 19, where the Shamrock return man fumbled and Saluda recovered. On the fourth play of the short drive, Bell scored from the one. Yepez made it 23-0 with 1:27 to go in the half.
  Using their saved up time outs effectively, thes Tiger had one more shot to score before halftime, but Yepez missed the 42-yard field goal attempt on the next to the last play of the half.
  The Tigers received the opening kick-off of the second half, and Springs returned the ball 51-yards to the Shamrock 29. Staying on the ground, Saluda drove to Eau Claire one where the Tigers faced fourth down. Jay Baker came in to run the Wildcat and scored his tenth touchdown of the year. Yepez’ kick with 9:04 to go in the third quarter gave Saluda a 30-0 lead.
  The next four possession can best be described as a “comedy of errors,” as each team turned the ball over twice.
  After the kick-off, Eau Claire started at the 20. On the fourth play of the drive, quarterback Jordon Howell’s passed was picked off by Daquan Brunson.
  On the third play of the drive, Kentavius Burton caught his first pass of the year, but the ball was stripped from him at the Eau Claire 24 and returned to the Saluda 35.
  That threat ended when the Shamrocks fumbled and Saluda recovered at the Shamrock 43.
  At the Eau Claire 25, Burton got the call and broke a 20-yard run to the Shamrock five, where he fumbled and Eau Claire recovered.
  On third down at the six, Howell threw up a prayer and it was answered when Kenneth Robinson got behind the Saluda defender and scampered 94-yards for the touchdown. Mario Trejo kicked the extra point and Eau Claire cut Saluda’s lead to 30-7 with 1:49 to go in the third.
  Saluda’s early threat in the fourth quarter ended when Chrishon Quattlebaum ran for the first time this season and was stopped short on a fourth down run at the Eau Claire 36.
  The Shamrocks could not take advantage of the stop, as they fumbled at the 36 and the ball was eventually recovered by Saluda’s Bubba Robinson at the Eau Claire seven.
  Senior defensive lineman Ashton Parkman, who doubles as a back-up running back, scored the touchdown on third down on a one yard run. Yepez gave Saluda a 37-7 with 9:07 to go.
  Yepez kick-off to the end zone set-up Saluda’s final score.
  After a five-penalty on first down, Eau Claire started at the 15, and the Tiger defense tackled to the Shamrock runners for losses on three straight plays, the last resulting in a safety, giving Saluda a 39-7 lead with 7:29 to go in the game.
  Coach Stewart Young turned the game over to the subs, many of them Jayvee players, who did not have a game this week.
  Sophomore Jayvee’er Zaye Bryant supplied some late game excitement when he returned an interception to the Eau Claire 30-yard line. The Tigers took a knee to run out the clock.
  The Tigers had their best rushing game of the year, using ten different ball carriers to gain 241 yards. Burton led the way with 113-yards on 18 carries.  Bell had his best running game of the season, with 62-yards on nine carries and two scores.
  Bell was eight for 16 for 60 yards, 277-yards less than last week’s record breaker, but the pass was not needed against the Shamrocks.
  Friday, the Tigers, 5-1, host Gray Collegiate. The War Eagles enter the game with a 4-2 record, their only losses coming against 3-A opponents Gilbert and Brookland-Cayce.
  Gray defeated Keenan 10-0 last Thursday.
  Kick-off is at 7:30 p.m.

WKA Senior #12
Jackson Parrish

Knights Continue Playing Through Injuries

By: Gerald Doolittle
  Batesburg-Leesville, S.C. -The 2017 football season at W.W. King Academy has been a struggle for Coach Zach Matthews and staff.  The season began with much promise as there were 16 players to start the season with.
  The Knights lost one player during pre-season work and then lost two top tier players within two minutes of each other in game one at Coastal Christian.   The next couple games Coach Matthews lost two other players for an extended period of time. 
  Despite the injuries, the Knights have continued the season with eleven players.  The Knights have been playing even with teams in first half play, only to be worn down in the second half by teams with fresh players.  The Knights overall record now stands at 1-6.
  Much of the offensive load has fallen on Jackson Parrish (Sr).   From his quarterback slot he has rushed for 618 yards on 115 carries for 11 touchdowns.  Parrish has completed 28 of 62 passes for 365 yards for 3 touchdowns.  On special teams he has 13 kick-off  returns for 313 yards and a touchdown.
  In the 52-44 win over Calhoun Academy, Parrish rushed for 229 yards for 5 touchdowns and completed 4 of 6 passes for 51 yards and a touchdown.   On defense that night he recorded 26 total tackles, with 3 quarterback sacks.  On the season, Parrish leads the team with 84 tackles.
  The other offensive playmakers for Coach Matthews have been Bryan Doolittle (Jr) with 215 yards rushing for 1 touchdown, Sam Mitchell (Fr) with 224 yards rushing, and Isaiah Brock (Jr) with 61 yards rushing.   Joe Sauls (So) has 10 receptions for 182 yards and 2 touchdowns and Carter Welsh (Sr) has 2 receptions for 50 yards for 2 touchdowns.
  Truman Caughman (Sr), before his injury, had 6 receptions for 91 yards.  Bryan Doolittle has 8 receptions for 48 yards.
  Other defensive playmakers, have been Garrett Doolittle (8th) with 65 tackles and 2 sacks and Reagan Pugh (Jr) with 57 tackles and 3 sacks.  Welsh has 37 tackles, 1 interception, 2 sacks and 1 fumble recovery.   Caughman, before his injury had 31 tackles.  Bryan Doolittle, Brock and Mitchell all have 22 tackles.  Brock also has 2 recoveries and Mitchell has 1 recovery.
  The Knights can still make the playoffs if they can get a couple wins with games left against region opponents, Laurens Academy, Newberry Academy and Richard Winn Academy.   They have a non-region game left with Northside Christian Academy this week.