Wildcats Win

ON THE WAY - Saluda quarterback Noah Bell gets off a pass, as Jeremiah Stevens blocks, in Friday’s 35-31 loss at Ninety Six. (Photo by Trey Fingerlin)

Wildcats Edge Tigers, 35-31

  In one of the finest individual performances ever against a Saluda High team, Ninety quarterback Kentavius Williams led the Wildcats to a 35-31 win over the Tigers Fri., Oct. 5, at Wilson Campbell Stadium.
  Williams rushed for 320 yards on 23 carries, scoring three touchdowns. He also passed for 72 yards and two more scores.
  Last year, Williams rush for 229-yards against the Tigers and threw for 80.
  Saluda was able to overcome Williams’ performance in 2017, when Noah Bell threw for a school record 337-yards. Bell had another good passing game this year, but it wasn’t enough.
  The first quarter gave all indications of a Wildcat rout. Ninety Six took the opening kick-off and promptly marched 65-yards for the game’si first score, a nine-yard run by Williams. Tyler Steele kicked the PAT and Ninety Six led 7-0 with 8:05 to go in the first quarter.
  Saluda managed just four-yards after the kick-off and Francisco Yepez’ 18-yard punt gave the Wildcats the ball at their own 37. Once again Williams and Company was unstoppable, and the senior quarterback’s nine-yard run and Steele’s kick gave the Wildcats a 14-0 lead with 1:41 to go in the quarter.
  On the next to the last play of the quarter, the Tigers got their initial first down of the game and this set the pace for a 68-yard scoring drive that culminated with a one-yard run by Bell. Yepez cut Ninety Six’ lead in half with 8:07 to go in the first half/
  The Saluda defense forced the only Ninety Six punt of the night on the Wildcat’s possession after the kick-off, and the Tigers got the ball at their own 23.
  From there Bell’s passing led the Tigers down the field. At the Ninety Six nine-yard line, Bell’s took off on a run and dragged Ninety Six players with him, but as he tried to cross the goal line, the ball popped out and Ninety Six recovered for a touchback.
 With the ball at the 20, Ninety Six gained nothing on first down, but on second down Williams broke into the clear for what appeared to be an 80-yard touchdown run.
  But, something happened that rarely happens to Williams in the open field. He got caught! Not only did CJ Bosket catch him near the goal line, he stripped the ball away and the Tiger’s O’Syruis Springs recovered the ball and returned it to the Saluda 39.
  From there, the Tigers were able to march down the field cut the halftime lead to 14-10, when Yepez kicked a 31-yard field go with 1:15 to go in the half.
  Saluda got the second half kick-off, but only managed to gain only four yards. Yepez got off a 42-yard punt, putting the Wildcats at their own 17.
  Ninety Six moved to the 27, where Williams called his own number again, broke into the clear again, and this time he was not caught again en route to a 73-yard touchdown run. Steele made it 21-10 with 8:33 to go in the third quarter.
  The Tigers dodged a major bullet on their next possession, when a pick six of Bell’s pass was called back on a penalty against the Wildcats.
  Saluda eventually punted from the 32. The punt kck travelled 17-yards at Ninety Six started at the Tiger 49. On the eighth play of the drive Williams thew 21-yards to wide-open receiver Daquan Carter for the touchdown, Steele’s kick made the score 28-10 with just 49.3 second to go in the quarter.
  The Ninety Six stomp was on ... until the kick-off. Saluda’s Bosket fielded the ball at the 35 and blew by the Wildcat the defenders for a 65-yard kick-off return touchdown. Yepez’s kick made the score 28-17 with 39.7 seconds left.
  The fourth quarter had plenty of excitement.
  Saluda’s defense held on a drive that ended at the Saluda 23 on fourth down.
   On second down, Bell passed to Zaye Bryant and the junior out-legged the Wildcat defenders for a 76-yard touchdown play. The Tigers try for two was successful when Bell threw to Keenan Brooks, making the score 28-25 with 6:36 to go the game.
  All the Tigers needed to do was hold the Wildcats, but “you know who” would have nothing to do with that.
  Williams led to Ninety Six to Saluda ten, where the Wildcats faced fourth and goal. Williams was heavily rushed, and with Tigers hanging all over him, he still managed to throw to Tae Brown for the touchdown. Steele made the score 35-25.
  Only 20.2 seconds remained in the game, but that was enough for Tigers to get another score.
  The squib Ninety Six kick-off was recovered by the Tigers at the Saluda 46. Bell threw 24 yards to Dallan Wright on first down. The next pass was incomplete, and on the last play of the game Bell completed a 30-yard touchdown pass to Brooks. Since the game was over, no conversion attempt was allowed and the game ended with a score of 35-31.
  After holding a good Silver Bluff team to only 59-yards rushing last week, Saluda defense was blitzed by 419-yards on the ground by the Wildcats, Throw in the 72-yards passing and it was a 491-yard evening for the Ninety Six offense.
  Bell threw for 253 yards to spark the Tigers.
  After two straight weeks on the road, Saluda (4-3, 1-1) will host Fox Creek Friday. The Predators lost 50-0 to Abbeville last Thursday.
  Kick-off is at 7:30 p.m.

2018 Ridge Spring Harvest Festival
And Bar-Be-Que Battle
October 11-13

THURSDAY, October 11  Bingo (Civic Center)
  6 p.m. Concessions open - 7 p.m. Bingo games start

FRIDAY, October 12
  7 p.m. Tour of Mexico in dance, music an food
  Evening:  BBQ contestants begin cooking in the square,   Concessions Available
  Cake/Cookie/Pie contest: -Cake judging begins at 5:45   pm.
SATURDAY, October 13
  9 a.m. Country Store open for business
  11 a.m. Parade (on Main Street)

  12 p.m. Invocation

SATURDAY, October 13 continued
  12:00 - 5:00 pm
  Crafters Open for Business  
  Children’s Rock Painting
  FREE Children’s Rides (Train, Extreme Air Bouncie, Rock   Wall)
  Concession and BBQ available

Local Dance Studio Performances
  Christy Mills Dance and Charloette Ginn & Friends

3:00 – 5:00 pm: Music