Tigers To Field
If Wednesday’s scrimmage with Whitmire is any indication, Coach Stewart Young’s second edition of the Saluda Tigers is going to be an exciting team to watch.
In romping past the Wolverines 40-6, the Tigers piled up 252 passing and 206 rushing, while the defense held Whitmire to 129 total yards.
Saluda offense will be bolstered by the return of some outstanding skilled people.
Senior quarterback Forrest Winn threw for 664 yards and eight touchdowns last year, before an injury ended his season.
His receiving corps includes Jamarion Mathis, Denasjee Posey and Reco Smith, who combined for 78 receptions, 14 touchdowns and 1230 receiving yards.
Running back Malik Brooks suffered a season ending injury after only five carries in the opening game against Ridge Spring-Monetta last year. He’s fully recovered. The Tigers also have experienced backs Malcolm Wiggins and Hunter Coleman returning. Wiggins scored four touchdowns last year. Ashton Parkman, up from the Jayvee team, will get carries, too.
Against Whitmire, the Tigers got yardage from three quarterbacks, eight ball carriers and six receivers.
Winn completed six of seven passes for 133 yards. He threw touchdowns passes of 20-yards to Wiggins and 55-yards to Posey, and also scored on a seven yard run.
Junior Tyrell Abney completed two of four passes for 23. The two incompletions were on the target, but dropped.
Third quarterback Ashton Hallman completed three of five passes for 96-yards. His highlight was a 75-yards touchdown pass to senior Drayton Jones.
Brooks rushed six times for 75 yards, including a 41-yard touchdown run.
Parkman scored the other touchdown of the night on an eight-yard run.
Freshman Francisco Yepez kicked two our of 4 extra points in the first have. Junior Dylan Strickland, the starter, was 2-2 in the second half.
Saluda’s lone punt was shanked and Whitmire’s Cole Eison picked up the ball and ran 51-yards for the Wolverine’s only score.
The Tigers return experience in the line.
Off-season knee surgery to starting center Wil Easler, has allowed Cade Rodgers to get experience during the fall camp. Easler is back and has seen action in the scrimmages.
Likewise starting guard Cedric Herrin has been brought along slowly following offseason knee surgery. He sat out the scrimmage, but is expected to play against RSM Friday night. Senior Rayvon Richardson will start at left tackle.
On the right side will be guard Trey Shuler and tackle Cody Phipps. Leason Horne and Peter Corley will also see action in the line.
Last year’s starting tight end Artis McGraw returns, and Hunter Coleman will see action in the slot.
Jess Werts in the long snapper and Ty Bell is the holder for the placekicking. Phipps will be the punter.
Defensively, Wiggins has had an outstanding pre-season at linebacker.
Young said the most surprising player to the fans on defense will be middle guard Kelijaha Brown, 6-2, 285, only a sophomore, who transferred from Ninety Six. He has been impressive in practice.
On the defensive ends will be Horne and Coleman.
An experienced linebacker group returns in Wiggins, Tyrell Sanders, Mathis and Tyrell Abney. Slayter Waters suffered a concussion in a scrimmage, but should return to action this week. Parkman has been filling in.
Tabarus Kinard, Posey and freshman C.J. Bosket will be the defensive backs. Demond Johnson and Daquain Brunson will also see action in the secondary.
Young feels his Tigers can play with anyone on the schedule.
“We have 17 players we can play on defense, and the same amount on offense. Last year, we lost three games because of our kicking game, and running game. This year we should be improved in both those categories.”
Young urges Tiger fans not to take Friday’s opponent Ridge Spring-Monetta for granted.
“They return everybody and have been very impressive in the pre-season. They are going to be running the wishbone most of the time, and we have been working all week to come up with a way to stop them.
“This is a very good team, and they will be fired up for us at their place. We’re looking forward to the game.”
W.W. King Knights
Fall To Patriots
By: Gerald Doolittle
Batesburg-Leesville, S.C. – The W.W. King Academy Knights traveled to Patrick Henry Academy to open their 2015 season and returned home with a 46-12 loss to the Patriots.
Coach Zach Matthews and staff were pleased with the way the team performed in the first half. The Knights, to the surprise of many, put together two clock eating drives in the first half to trail only 16-12 at the break.
The first Knight touchdown, with 2:46 left in the first quarter, came on a 25 yard pass from quarterback Wyatt McDonald to Chris Fincher. That scoring drive was a 9 play 68 yard drive. Fincher had another 12 yard reception on the drive.
The second Knight touchdown came with 29 seconds left in the second quarter. Lane Bedenbaugh took a 10 yard pass from McDonald for the score. That was a 13 play 79 yard drive. The Knights controlled the clock in the first half with 33 offensive plays to the Patriots 20.
Despite controlling the clock in the first half, the Knights could not contain Patriot quarterback, Blair Moore. Moore had touchdown runs of 70 and 3 yards and Mitchell Hanna scored both conversions to give Patrick Henry the 16-12 halftime lead.
The lack of bench strength proved costly for the Knights in the second half as the Patriots, with plenty of reserves, wore the Knights down. Moore and Hanna would continue to eat up yardage on the Knights defense. Moore would score two more touchdowns of 35 and 20 yards. Gill Griner would score from 30 yards out and Hanna would score from 3 yards out.
The Knights defense was led by Lane Bedenbaugh with 12 primary and 4 assisted tackles. He also had one pass rejection. Jackson Parrish would record 6 primary and 8 assisted tackles. Truman Caughman had 5 primary and 5 assisted tackles. Hunter Black in his first game as a Knight recorded 2 primary and 2 assisted tackles. One of the primary stops was a quarterback sack.
The Knights will journey to Beaufort Academy for their second game. The coaching staff hopes they can keep everyone healthy as the season progresses.