Tigers Top Columbia

Tigers Pop Caps, 22-6


  After trailing winless Columbia at halftime, Saluda came to life in the second half to take a 22-6 win Fri., Oct. 16, at CF Bolden Stadium in Columbia.
  Saluda fans made their second trip to the Capital City this year, and  expected another “throw your helmet” on the field win, since Columbia had been outscored 95-12 in their two games.. The Caps, however, played inspired football and shocked the Tigers in the first half.
  The game started off well for Saluda. Columbia received the opening kickoff, and two straight bad snaps resulted in Saluda earning a safety to take a 2-0 lead with 11:06 to go in the first quarter.
  The “rout” appeared to be on, but the Tiger offense took the wrong “route.”
  It started with star running back Montrevious Baker getting injured before he had one carry and missing the rest of the game. That, followed by 80-yards in penalties, including three holding penalties in the first quarter, made the first half look like the defending state champs were headed for one of their worst losses ever.
  The Tigers took their 2-0 lead late into the second quarter. With the ball at the Columbia 28, Saluda quarterback Jonah McCary threw to Zion Wright, but the referees ruled Wright fumbled at the 24 and the Caps took over.
  Three straight plays resulted in penalties. A 12-yard run gave Columbia a first down at the Caps 49. On first down, the quarterback connected on a 42 yard pass to the wide receiver. On first down at the Saluda eight, the tailback ran it in. The kick failed and Columbia lead 6-2 with 1:45 go to in the half. It would stay that way.
  After two straight Cap second half kick-offs went out of bounds, Tyleke Mathis’s outstanding kick return was called back due to a penalty, forcing the Tigers to start from their own 30. Passes from McCary to Wright and Javarious Stevens helped move the Tigers down the field, but it was some “star is born” runs by Naim Butler that made the difference.
  The senior, listed as a defensive lineman on the roster, has never, ever carried the ball in his varsity career, but with the injury to Baker, he stepped in and gained 29-yards on the drive, including a 17-yard touchdown run with 9:55 to go in the third quarter to give the Tigers the lead. A high snap foiled the extra point try and Saluda led 8-6.
  As time was expiring in the quarter, a 43-yard Columbia punt pinned the Tigers at their own five-yard line moved the ball to the 19-yard-line. On the first play of the fourth quarter, the Caps were penalized five yards. At the Saluda 29, Mathis got the call and the sophomore speedster broke 56 yards to the Columbia 15.
   Butler was stuffed on third down at the ten, but somehow he broke away and scored his second touchdown on the night. Mathis scored the two-point play to up Saluda’s lead to 16-6 with 10:29 to go in the game.
  After the kick-off, the Caps got a four-yard run on first down, but on second down Saluda sophomore defensive back Luke McGinnis intercepted the Cap pass and retuned it to the Columbia 17-yard-line.
  On the third play of the short drive, Butler scored his third TD of the game, this one from five yards out. Sam Espinoza missed his first ‘PAT kick of the year, and Saluda led 22-6 with 8:05 to go in the game.
  Saluda’s Roderick Rolland intercepted a pass on the next Columbia possession, but the Tigers fumbled the ball away on third down.
  Freshman tailback Kenmane Brunson put on a show on the Tigers’ last possession, gaining 36-yards on three carries. His 20-yard run gave Saluda the ball at the Cap five, but the Tigers chose to run out the clock, rather than running up the score.
  Butler, whose only offensive statistic prior to the game, was a 17-yard touchdown reception, finished the game with 109 -yards rushing on 20 carries. Mathis added 84 on only five carries.
  McCary completed 11 of 17 passes for 115 yards, with one inception. Wright and Stevens caught four passes each.
  The Tigers, 2-1, have a very important meeting with arch-rival Batesburg-Leesville Saturday. With only two teams making the play-offs this year, the loser of this game could be eliminated, unless they earn the one at-large berth in the Upperstate.
  The Panther have not played in two weeks due to COVID-19, and the game was moved to Saturday morning at 11 a.m. to the give B&L the required three practices.
  In like meetings, Saluda beat Eau Claire 62-14 and the Panthers blanked the Shamrocks 52-0. Both teams lost to Gray Collegiate - Saluda 34-24, B&L 27-20.

Congratulations to Alexander Draton Salters-  The faculty, staff, and students of the Saluda County Adult Education Program would like to congratulate Alexander Draton Salters on earning his South Carolina High School Equivalency Diploma by passing the GED.  Alexander worked extremely hard while attending the Adult Ed. Program.  The Saluda County School District Adult Education Program offers GED preparation and testing, a High School Diploma program, English as a Second Language classes, and WIN Career Readiness Certificate preparation and testing.  For more information about enrolling in Adult Education call Andrea Minick or Jonathan Ergle at 864-362-6080 or stop by our office at 401 North Calhoun St in Saluda, SC.  Pictured are Jonathan Ergle, Director of Saluda Adult Education and Alexander Salters, Graduate.