Tiger Season Ends

ONE HAND GRAB - Saluda’s Raquon Hartley makes a magnificent one-handed grab in Friday’s game at Southside Christian. Hartley had one the best games of his career,  hauling in seven passes and scoring two touchdowns. (Photo by Trey Fingerlin)


Sabres End Tiger Season, 34-21

  After Saluda had tied the game, fourth ranked Southside Christian score two late fourth quarter touchdowns to take a 34-21 over the Tigers in Simpsonville Fri., Nov. 23.
  The loss ends the Tigers season, while the Sabres will host unbeaten Abbeville for the Upper State Championship Friday.
  Friday’s game was played in a cold rain, and the Tigers’ early  performance matched the weather.
  The first quarter ended with Southside Christian up 14-0, while the Tigers had earned only one first down.
  The Sabres continued the assault on their first drive of the second quarter, but this one ended with a blocked field goal at the Saluda 16.
  This play sparked the Tigers, and the offense responded with an 84-yard drive. Quarterback Noah Bell threw 25-yards to Raquon Hartley for the Tigers’ first touchdown. Francisco Yepez kicked the extra point, making the score 14-7, with 7:20 to go in the first half.
  A 56-yard punt to the Saluda one-yard-line set up S.C.’s next score. The Tigers moved to the 15, where Madison Williams’ punt was fielded by the Sabres at the Tigers 43.
  S.C. moved in for the score in six plays, upping the lead to 21-7 with only 1:52 to go in the half.
  As has been the case in recent games, Saluda’s “two minute” offense came through again. After CJ Bosket’s kick-off return, the Tigers began at their own 27. Bell threw to Hartley for 11 yards, then hit Dallan Wright for back-to-back passes of 32 and 12-yards, the last one resulting in a touchdown. Yepez cut the lead to 21-14 with 1:03 to go in the half, and it stayed that way.
  The third quarter was uneventful, until time was running out and Bell’s pass was intercepted with Saluda at the Southside Christian seven-yard-line.
  On their first possession of the fourth quarter, Saluda go to the Sabre 16, before two sacks sandwiched between a five-yard penalty had the drive die at the Sabre 24.
  Southside Christian was unable to move after taking over, and Bosket’s 27-yard punt return to the Sabre 35 set up Saluda’s tying score.
  A big play in the drive was Bell’s run on fourth down to the S.C. 22. On the next play Bell threw to Hartley for the touchdown. Yepez’s kick tied the score at 21 with only 5:30 to go in the game.
  The Tigers needed to stop S.C. on their next possession, but that didn’t happen. The Sabre return man gathered in the Yepez’ kick at the ten, and returned it 60-yards to the Saluda 40.
  Anthony McFadden gained 30-yards on first down, and two plays later 210-lb. junior Mallory Pinkney scored from the four. Charlie Paciocco kicked the extra point, giving the Sabres a 28-21 lead with 4:26 to go.
  Saluda’s latch ditch effort ended with Bell’s third interception of the night. The Tigers could not stop the Sabre running game and with 28 seconds to go, Pinkney scored on an eight-yard run. The Tigers blocked the PAT, making the final score 34-21.
  The two games with the Sabres were eerily similar. South Christian won both games by 13 points, and made no mistakes in either game, while the Tigers combined for seven turnovers in the two contests, all interceptions.
  Saluda’s made the third round of the state playoffs for a record fourth straight year. During that time, the teams have combined for a 42-12 record, and CJ Bosket started on all four of those teams, making him the only Tiger in history to start in the third round of the playoffs for four straight years.
  There were a few individual records set by members of the team.
  Sophomore Madison Williams broke Jamarion Mathis receiving yards record of 811 yards, when he caught 56 passes for 846 yards. Williams and Mathis are tied for the second most receptions in a season, 56,  behind Trevor Deloach’s 64 in 2006.  Williams tied Deloach for the most touchdown receptions in a season, 11.
  Bell broke three of his own records, and set another. He shattered his most passing yards in a season record 2752 to 2117, most total offense 3252 to 2674, and most touchdown responsibility 41 to 36.
  Bell shattered Ryan Nichols’ most touchdown passes in a season, 35 to 20.
  The Tigers return Bell and some outstanding receivers, including Williams, Dallan Wright - 27 catches, six TDs; Keenan Brooks - 26 catches, four TDs; and Zaye Bryant 15 catches, 6 TDs.
  The Tigers will lose some fine seniors, including  O’Syruis Springs, Bubba Robinson, Cole Gentry, Hartley, Kentavious Burton, Bosket, Jylir Coleman, Cale Enlow, Grey Riley and James Therell on defense. Bosket and Hartley were selected for the North-South game, and were named All-Lakelands, along with Robinson and Bell.
  Offensive line starters Will Turner, Justin Corley and Trey McGraw will graduate, as will leading rusher Jeremiah Stevens. McGraw was selected for the SC-GA Border War, along with  Hartley.
  Also graduating are special teams starters, Dalton Hyler, Drake Riley and Ce Robinson, and the top special team member, kicker Francisco Yepez, who led Tigers ins scoring with 67 points, and handled the kick-off and punting duties.


NORTH-SOUTH COACH - Coach Patsy E. Rhodes congratulates Brantley Riley Buzhardt at the North-South Volleyball All-Star Games held November 17, 2018 at Erskine College.  Brantley was selected to coach the AAA-AA-A North All-Stars by the South Carolina Coaches Association of Women’s Sports.  Brantley currently teaches physical education and coaches at Batesburg-Leesville High School.  She serves as Assistant Athletic Director and is the sponsor for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.  At Batesburg-Leesville she coaches volleyball and softball.  Brantley a 2000 graduate of Saluda High School was a three sport letter winner.  She played volleyball and basketball for Coach Patsy E. Rhodes at Saluda High.  Coach Patsy E. Rhodes who coached the 1992 South Volleyball All-Stars is proud of Brantley and her recognition.