Tigers Edge B&L

THE WINNNER - Saluda’s Francisco Yepez kicks the game winning 32-yard field goal as time exprires in Thursday’s 24-21 win over Batesburg-Leesville. Jacob McCary (41) in the holder. (Photo by Trey Fingerlin)

 

Yepez FG Tops Panthers, 24-21


  Francisco Yepez kicked a 32-yard field goal as time expired, giving Saluda a 24-21 win over arch-rival Batesburg-Leesville Thurs., Oct. 25, at the Panther Stadium.
  With the forecast of all-day rain Friday, the game was moved to Thurs. night and the fans in attendance got their money’s worth.
  B&L received the opening kick-off and drove all the way to the Saluda 33, where a fourth down run by quarterback Ke’Shoun Williams came up short.
  From the Tiger 27, Saluda drove in for the score in only five snaps, the big play coming on a 56-yard pass from quarterback Noah Bell to sophomore receiver Madison Williams to the one-yard-line. On the next play Bell scored. Yepez gave Saluda a 7-0 lead with 5:31 to go in the first quarter.
  On their next possession it appeared the Tigers were ready to take control of the game early, but Bell’s pass to Raquon Hartley ended with a Hartley fumble that the Panthers recovered at their own ten-yard-line.
  From there, B&L drove all the way to the Saluda 13, where a fourth down pass fell incomplete.
  On their next possession, Panthers scored their first touchdown of the night on a 17-yard run by Williams. Collin Anderson’s kick tied the score at seven with 4:33 to go in the first half.
 Neither team threatened the rest of the way.
  Saluda received the opening kick-off of the second half and the drive ended in disaster. On fourth down the punt snap sailed over Yepez head and he was able to fall on the ball at the Tiger 21.
  On the first play Tayvon Wilson scored on a run. Anderson’s gave the Panthers a 14-7 lead with 9:15 to go in the third quarter.
  An interception by Saluda’s CJ Bosket set up the Tiger’s tying score.
  Starting at the 50, Jeremiah Steven’s 12-yard run on first down was followed by a 20-yard run by Bell. On the fourth play of the dive Bell and Williams teamed up for a 17-yard scoring play. Yepez’s kicked tied the score with 5:40 to go in the period.
  The Tigers had a nice drive going on their next possession, but it ended when Bell’s pass was picked off at the Panther 20 and returned to the 44.
  On their first possession of the fourth quarter, the Tigers got a first down, but ended up punting. Yepez got off a 45-yarder, forcing the Panthers to begin from their own 13.
  On first down, Hartley made up for his early fumble when he intercepted Wil-liams’s pass at the Panther eight-yard line.
  Bell gained three yards on first down, then threw five-yards to Hartley for the score. Yepez gave Saluda a 21-14 lead with 9:01 to go in the game.
  But, then came the Panthers. T.J Fallaw’s kick-off went out of bounds and the Panthers started at their own 35. They took five plays to move to the Saluda 45, where Wilson got the all and broke free for a touchdown run. Anderson’s kick tied the game at 21, with 6:50 still remaining.
  To Saluda fans, it appeared the Tigers had regained the lead with Bosket returned the kick-off 70-yard for a score. Unfortunately, it appeared to one of the referees that a Saluda player committed a block in the back on the other side of the field, and the touchdown was wiped out.
  The Tigers were unable to earn a first down after penalty walk-off, and Yepez got off another 45-yard kick that put the Panthers at their own 25.
  A 12-yard pass play and a 21-yard run by Wilson move the ball to the Saluda 43, where the game’s biggest play at the moment occurred. Williams fumble was recovered by Saluda’s James Therrell at the Panther 44.
  The clock showed 2:30 to go in the game.
  On first down, the Panther were penalized for interference, moving the ball to the B&L 29.
  Stevens lost a yard on first down, then Bell threw to Bosket for a 12-yard gain to the Panther 18, From there, the Tigers used three runs to get into field goal position.
  Bell’s run around the right end on third down, put the ball on the 15-yard-line’s right hash mark.
  Saluda let the clock run until it hit the 3.3 second mark  before calling time out.
  The Panthers followed suit with a time-out in an attempt to ice Yepez, but it didn’t work. A perfect snap and hold led to a Yepez kick that would have been good from 50-yards. The excited Saluda ball boys behind the end zone let fans know the kick was good before the refs did.
  That win propelled Saluda to a couple of milestones.
  With a 6-4 regular season record, the Tigers are guaranteed of having a winning record for four years in a row, the first time that has happened since a eight season winning stretch from 1959 to 1966.
  They also claimed their fourth straight win over Batesburg-Leesville. The last time that happened was 1936-1939.
  Saluda finished 3-2 in the conference, tying Ninety Six for second place, but the Tigers get the third seed in the playoffs because the Wildcats won the head-to-head meeting.
  The Tigers will make the long trip to Blacksburg in two weeks when the play-offs  begin. Blacksburg finished third in Region 1.
  Next Friday will be the make-up day from games cancelled by the hurricane a few weeks ago. That was Saluda’s open date, so the Tigers were not affected.
  Kick-off will be at 7:30 on Nov. 9.


SHS Veterans
Day Program


  Saluda High School will host a Veterans Day program on Monday, November 12th at 10:30-11:30am for veterans in our community.
  It is our hope that by thanking America’s veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice, we can reward them with the honor they so richly deserve. We can all better value the freedoms we have today because of the men and women who have served in defense of our nation.
  After a ceremony led by the Saluda High School Navy National Defense Cadet Corps (NNDCC), each veteran in attendance and his or guest are invited to stay for a meal prepared especially for them by the cafeteria service: country fried steak, rice and gravy, baked potato with ham and cheese, steamed broccoli, a roll, and apple crunch for dessert.
  So that we can ensure enough food is prepared, kindly RSVP by calling the school at 864-445-3011 no later than Monday, November 5th.