Silver Bluff Falls

TOUCHDOWN - Saluda running back Jeremiah Stevens breaks free for a 12-yard touchdown run in the Tigers 10-0 win at Silver Bluff Friday night. (Photo by Trey Fingerlin)

Tigers Shutout Bulldogs, 10-0

  Behind one of the finest defensive performances in years, Saluda got its region schedule off to a good start with a 10-0 win at Silver Bluff Fri., Sept. 28.
  The Bulldogs entered the game with a 3-1 record, the only loss coming 21-14 to 2nd ranked  Barnwell. They had averaged  over 37 points per game, but the Tiger defense completely shut them down.
  Silver Bluff was held to four first downs, one in each quarter, 59 yards rushing and only 20 yards passing.
  Saluda’s offense was held to one of its lowest point totals in years, but the Tigers were content to play ball control to claim their first win ever over Silver Bluff. The two teams played four times in the 80’s and SB won each time.
  The Tiger offense got off to an auspicious start, fumbling on their first two possessions.
  The Bulldogs recovered the second one at the Saluda 35. They could only gain one yard and turned the ball over on downs. Silver Bluff would enter Saluda territory only one more time in the game, and that was at the Tiger 47.
  The first quarter ended scoreless. Midway in the second quarter, a 57-yard Silver Bluff punt pinned the Tigers at their own 19-yard line.
  Quarterback Noah Bell passed 15-yards to CJ Bosket on first down, but the Tigers stayed on the ground the rest of the way, led by 230-lb. tailback Jeremiah Stevens, who carried five times for 49-yards on the drive. A 17-yard run by Bell kept the march going.
  Stevens scored the game’s only touchdown on a 12-yard run. Francisco Yepez’ kick gave Saluda a 7-0 lead with just 1:38 to go in the first half. The half would end with that score.
  Silver Bluff’s second half kick-off sailed into the end zone, and the Tigers, starting at the 20, put together one of their best drives of the year, mixing the run and pass. A key play in the march was a three-yard run by Bell on fourth down at the Silver Bluff 46.
  The 18-play drive stalled on third down at the Silver Bluff two-yard line, and Yepez came  on to kick a 20-yard field goal to give Saluda a 10-0 lead with 4:22 to go in the third quarter.
  Saluda had one more chance for a score in the quarter, when a wide open receiver dropped a sure 71-yard touchdown pass from Bell.
  Behind the running of Stevens and Bell, the Tigers continued to keep the ball away from the Bulldogs in the fourth quarter to claim the important region win.
  The region has three of the state’s Top Ten teams, and Silver Bluff and Batesburg-Leesville have received votes in the poll. Each win in the conference is important, as five of the six teams will make the playoffs.
  Stevens led Saluda’s offense rushing for 143 yards on 27 carries. Bell added 31 yards on the ground to go along with his 84 passing yards.
  Friday, the Tigers, 4-2,  travel to Ninety Six to take on the unbeaten Wildcats. The stadium should be packed for this one.
  Kick-off is at 7:30 p.m.

NEWBERRY COACH VISITS - Newberry College head football coach Todd Knight drove to Saluda last week to vist longtime Wolves fan Carol Brandt at Saluda Nursing Center. (Photo by Lewie Shealy)