Tigers Clip Gray

BIG STOP - Saluda’s defense made some big plays in Friday’s nail biting 17-14 win over Gray Collegiate. Pictured above are Demond Johnson (26), Kelijiha Brown (71), Bubba Robinson (3), Daquain Brunson (9) and Raquon Hartley (6).  (Photo by Trey Fingerlin)

Tigers Edge War Eagles, 17-14

  Gray Collegiate missed a game-tying field goal with 37.7 seconds to go, allowing Saluda to claim a 17-14 thriller over the War Eagles, Fri., Oct. 6, at the  Bettis Herlong Stadium at Matthews Field.
  Coach Stewart Young had warned fans all week not to take Gray Collegiate lightly. Last season Saluda romped 55-18, but a year makes a big difference.
  The War Eagles showed what they were made up on the opening drive of the game. It took them only four plays to drive 65-yards for the game’s first score. Sophomore quarterback Hunter Helms connected with speedy Chylon Thomas for a 36-yard scoring pass. Eric Anderson kicked the PAT, and Gray led 7-0 with 10:20 to go in the first quarter.
  An interception of Helms’ pass by Saluda Daquain Brunson set up Saluda’s first score.
  Brunson returned the ball to the War Eagle 39. A  24-yard pass from Saluda’s sophomore quarterback Noah Bell to sophomore wide receiver Jay Baker put the ball at the Gray 15. On third and one at the War Eagle six, Bell was thrown for a three yard loss. Francisco Yepez came on to kick a 26-yard field goal, cutting Gray Collegiate’s lead to 7-3 with 3:14 to go in the quarter.
  Baker’s 29-yard punt return set-up Saluda’s next score. Starting at the War Eagle 26, the Tigers move in for the score in four plays, the touchdown coming on a five-yard run by Bell. Yepez kick gave Saluda a 10-7 lead with 55.3 to go in the first.
  The second quarter was a defensive struggle, as each team managed one first down each. The halftime score remained 10-7.
  Saluda’s defense set-up the offense again in the third quarter, when Hartley intercepted a Helms pass and returned it to the War Eagle 20. On the fifth play of the drive, Bell scored on a ten-yard run. Yepez was true on the kick and the Tigers led 17-7 with 7:01 to go in the third quarter.
  Later in the quarter, the Tigers were driving in for the score that might have put Gray Collegiate away, but Bell’s pass was intercepted by Gray’s Emmanuel Harley at the War Eagle two-yard-line and returned to the 25.
  Gray would drive all the way to the Saluda 26, before giving the ball up on downs.
  On the first play of the fourth quarter, Bell fumbled at the end of a 15-yard run, and the War Eagles recovered at the Saluda 49.
  On first down, Saluda’s Cade Gentry intercepted Helms’ pass, but the Tigers were flagged for roughing the passer and penalized 15-yards. On the fifth play of the drive, Thomas scored on a six-yard run. Anderson’s kick cut Saluda’s lead to 17-14 with 10:22 to go in the game, and the Tiger spent the rest of the game dodging bullets.
  The only contribution Saluda’s offense made the rest of the way was Bell’s second interception of the game. From the Tiger 24, Gray got as close as the seven where they faced fourth down. Peterson came to attempt the game tying field goal, but before he could get the kick off, the War Eagles were penalized five yards. Peterson’s 31-yard-attempt with 6:09 to go in the game was no good.
  The Tigers got the ball at the 20, but could only gain four yards. Ashton Parkman got off a big 50-yard punt that put the War Eagles at their own 27.
  Saluda’s defense allowed Gray to move down the field, but tightened when the War Eagles got close. On fourth down at the Saluda 13, Peterson’s 30-yard field goal attempt, with 37.7 to go in the game, was no good, and Tigers everywhere breathed a heavy sigh of relief.
  The Tiger defense saved the day, as the offense was ineffective the entire game. The 164-yards in total offense was the lowest since the Tigers managed only 129-yards in a 28-7 loss to Midland Valley in 2014.
  For the second week in a row, a Saluda opponent shut down Saluda’s passing game that had averaged 200-yards a game in the first five games.
  Bell was held to 60-yards passing for the second game in a row, and for the second game in a row, he gained more yards on the ground, 82, than he did through the air. The next leading rusher was Kentavius Burton, who gained 113-yards last week, but only gained 20 against the War Eagles.
  Despite being outplayed for the most part by the War Eagles, the most important thing is the Tigers raised their overall record to 6-1, and their region mark to 2-0.
  The victory guarantees Saluda a winning season, and marks the first time Saluda has had three winning seasons in a row since 1971-73, when Bettis Herlong was coach. The Herlong teams were 23-8-1 in that stretch. The Tigers are currently 28-6 in the last three seasons.
  Saluda will travel to Columbia on Thursday this week to take on Keenan at Bolden Stadium. The Raiders beat C.A. Johnson 28-6 Friday to claim their first win of the year.
  Kick-off is at 7:30.

Brown Selected
For Shrine Bowl

  Saluda High defensive lineman Kelijiha Brown became the 13th Tiger selected to the prestigious Shrine Bowl when he was chosen Sunday.
  Brown has committed to play for Wake Forest.
  The game will be played Sat., Dec, 16, 2 p.m., at Wofford’s stadium in Spartanburg.
  Past SHS players selected were: Bettis Herlong (1941), Billy  Grigsby (1947), Wendall Black (1957), Ron Hightower (1959), Tom Blease (1962), James Brown (1963), Roger Hazel (1965), Richard Brooks (1973, Jonathon Brooks (1974), Alex Robinson (2008), Dexter Wideman (2013), and Malik Brooks (2016). (Photo by Trey Fingerlin)

Varsity Knight #9 Senior Truman Caughman

Knight Teams Capture Last Minute Wins

By: Gerald Doolittle
  Last week the W.W. King Academy football teams celebrated homecoming week with two spine tingling come-from-behind wins in the closing seconds.
  On Thursday night the middle school Knights of Coach Devin Bedenbaugh hosted the Greenwood Christian Hawks and came away with a 48-44 win.   This win was a sweet one as it was a revenge win for the Knights who dropped a 44-34 game to the Hawks a couple weeks before.
  John Roy had a possible record setting game for W.W. King.   He rushed the ball 25 times for 340 yards scoring 6 touchdowns.   His touchdown runs were for 52, 48, 45, 52, 2 and 3 yards.  He also ran in 3 two-point conversions, giving him 42 of the 48 points scored.
  Trevor Fulmer and Clayton Turner joined in the fun with 24 and 31 yards rushing.  Fulmer had a 15-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
  Collin Woodward completed 2 of 4 passes for 9 yards.  Both receptions were made by brother Carson.
  Carson was the hero of the game when he set the winning touchdown drive up with an interception at the Knights 45- yard line.  The Hawks were driving for another touchdown after they had rallied to a 44-42 lead.  The winning drive was an 11 play 55- yard drive with Roy diving over for the winning touchdown with :38 left in the game.
  The Knights defense and special teams came away with fumble recoveries by Carson Woodward, Collin Woodward and two by Fulmer.   With the win, the Junior Knights upped their season record to 4-2.
  On Friday night the varsity team had a come-from-behind win in the same fashion.   After the Northside Christian Crusaders came from a 0-16 first half to take a 24-22 lead with 2:26 left to play, the Knights mounted a seven play 52-yard drive that ended on a Jackson Parrish 2-yard run with 18 seconds left to put the Knights up 28-24.   Bryan Doolittle followed with the two-point conversion pass from Parrish to make the final score read 30-24 in the Knights favor.
  Parrish led the Knights offense with 200 yards rushing on 25 carries for two touchdowns.  Sam Mitchell added 51 yards rushing on 14 carries for two touchdowns.   Parrish also completed 6 of 11 passes for 41 yards.   His 13- yard completion to Truman Caughman set up the winning touchdown.  For the game, Caughman had three receptions for 27 yards.  Joe Sauls had two receptions for 11 yards.
  On special teams Parrish had a kickoff return for 12 yards and punt returns of 30 and 10 yards.  Joe Sauls also had punts of 30,42 and 44 yards.
  The Knights defense was led by Parrish with 16 total tackles, 1 pass deflection and a quarterback sack.   Garrett Doolittle followed with 19 total tackles and a fumble recovery.   Reagan Pugh, Carter Welsh and Caughman had 11, 10 and 10 tackles each.
  Sauls had a pass rejection, one fumble recovery and one caused fumble.  Mitchell had 8 tackles and a forced fumble.   Isaiah Brock tallied 7 tackles.
  This week the Knights will carry a 2-6 season record into the home game against the Newberry Academy Eagles.   This will be a region game for the Knights.   A win will give them a chance to make the playoffs in three weeks.