Straughn knocks off No. 1

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 9, 2002

The Straughn Tigers defeated the No. 1-ranked T.R. Miller Tigers last night in a game that came down to the very last play.

Straughn took the opening kickoff down the field with three quick first downs.

But it didn't take long for the fumble bug to bite the hometown Tigers and T.R. Miller's Tyler Shehan picked up the ball and scampered for a 30-yard pick-up.

The Tigers capitalized when senior running back Antawn Gomez took a toss sweep 31 yards around the right end for the game's first score.

Junior place-kicker Joseph Turner missed the PAT, but T.R. Miller held a 6-0 lead.

Straughn answered when junior running back Michael Hobbs took a hand-off deep in the Tiger backfield and burst through the line for a 74 yard touchdown run with 5:02 left in the first quarter.

The PAT was no good and the score was tied at 6-6.

Straughn's defense picked up its pace as senior cornerback Justin Clark intercepted a pass from quarterback Brad Lannom.

The Tiger offense picked up right where they left off, behind the running of

Michael Hobbs.

Hobbs carried the ball five times before plunging into the end zone for a two-yard score with 1:56 left in the first quarter.

The two-point conversion attempt was no good, but Straughn held a 12-6 edge.

Straughn's offense again took control of the ball at the start of the second quarter. Freshman running back Al Freeney began the drive with a 14-yard run through the middle of the Miller defense.

Followed by time consuming runs by Michael Hobbs.

On first down, junior quarterback Justin Bracewell completed a five-yard pass to senior Justin Clark. Two plays later, they would again team up for a 32-yard touchdown pass to put the home team up by two scores.

Straughn's attempt for the two point conversion was successful for a 20-6 lead with 6:18 left in the half.

T.R. Miller mounted a drive of their own until junior linebacker Dawanis Samuel recovered a fumble near midfield to end the half.

T.R. Miller came out in the second half with a new found bounce in their step.

They received the second half kickoff and started a drive from their own 15-yard line.

They ran for a couple of first downs behind running backs Ronteil Collins and Quentin Galloway.

However, they would be forced to punt.

They gave the ball to punter Brad Lannom and he booted a 50-yard punt backing the Straughn offense deep into it's own territory.

Straughn's offense didn't miss a beat from the first half with big runs by Michael Hobbs and a 26-yard strike from Justin Bracewell to Justin Clark putting the Tigers on the one-inch line.

On the next play, Straughn Head Coach Trent Taylor put the ball back in Michael Hobbs' hands for a one-yard touchdown run with 2:35 left in the third quarter.

Dusty Varner added a PAT putting Straughn in front 27-6.

The fourth quarter was dominated by the T.R. Miller defense.

Holding the Straughn offense to just four total yards.

Miller scored early after recovering a Straughn fumble on the 11. The next play senior Kirk Brown ran in an 11-yard pitch around left end. The PAT was good cutting the score to 27-13.

T.R. Miller again forced a Straughn turnover giving their offense great field position.

Three plays later, junior Brad Lannom found senior receiver Brent Salter for a 31-yard touchdown pass.

The PAT was good and Straughn's lead was cut to 27-20.

Straughn's fourth possession of the quarter ended after three plays and they were forced to give the ball back to the Miller offense.

It didn't take junior quarterback Brad Lannom long to find the end zone again scoring on a one-yard quarterback sneak to put his team within one point.

T.R. Miller Head Coach Jamie Riggs decided to go for a two-point conversion.

Brad Lannom rolled out right and threw to a wide open Trent Davidson.

At the last second, a diving Michael Hobbs knocked the ball away to preserve Straughn's 27-26 lead.

T.R. Miller was not done yet however.

They got the ball back with just over one minute left.

Miller completed a big pass

to senior James Martin.

However, Straughn cornerback Jamie Straughn forced a fumble which was recovered by linebacker Dawanis Samuel.

Straughn's offense took the field and Bracewell took a knee to end the

game for a 27-26 victory.

Taylor said this game is probably the biggest win in school history. When asked what he was most pleased with after the victory he said, "I was real worried about the amount of leadership on the team."

"We had some kids step up and show some big time leadership tonight," he added.

The Straughn Tigers improve to 2-0 on the season and 1-0 in region play. Next week Straughn celebrates homecoming against Calhoun. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.