Squadron upsets Tigers in spring game

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 13, 2006

With 2:35 left to play, Highland Home quarterback Deymond Sankey completed a 3-yard, fade-route touchdown pass to Kylen Grace, capping a 16-play drive to set up the game-winning two-point conversion run by Anthony Merriweather, sealing the upset victory for the Flying Squadron over the Greenville Tigers, 14-12.

The Tigers led 6-0 at the half and added another score on the opening drive of the second half, but 14 unanswered points by Highland Home proved to be too much.

&#8220We had a great effort tonight but we don't know how to seal the deal yet,” first year Greenville head coach Bryant Vincent said. &#8220We have to, first, learn how to win.”

Highland Home head coach Bob Farrior said he was worried about his team's conditioning at halftime but their effort made up for the conditioning in the second half. Farrior said his team didn't make any drastic changes at the half, except for one.

&#8220We just started executing,” Farrior said.

With his team down by 12 early in the second half, Farrior said his boys stepped up.

&#8220We showed a lot of heart and a lot of class,” Farrior said. &#8220These boys have the will to not quit.”

While the Tiger defense seemed to wear down in the second half, the offense hit on all cylinders in the first half and early in the second.

Fort Dale Academy transfer Casey Weston earned his first start as a Tiger and Vincent liked what he saw.

&#8220Casey Weston is the biggest winner on this field,” Vincent said. &#8220He showed he is a competitor.”

Weston, who finished with touchdown passes of 16 yards and 57 yards, showed his versatility in the wide-open Tiger offense by running for nearly 50 yards.

&#8220I really didn't think about it being my first time (as Greenville quarterback),” Weston said. &#8220I just wanted to go out there and play.”

And play, he did.

Weston's two touchdowns to Brandon Cheatham showed the backfield duo can make plays offensively, but the team can not sit on a lead, he said.

&#8220We know we can't settle,” Weston said.

In the junior varsity game preceding the varsity game, the Tigers struck early and never looked back, downing the Flying Squadron, 16-6.

The opening drive for the JV Tigers did not produce any points but it did produce the highlight of the night.

Facing a long third down, Greenville quarterback Ryan Smith let go of a deep pass that was acrobatically brought down one-handed by receiver Mikwese Claybourne.

Although the drive stalled, Claybourne made up for it with touchdown grabs of 14 and 35 yards.

&#8220Mikwese Claybourne has a chance to be something very special for us,” head coach Vincent said.

While the spring game signals the end up spring practice, weightlifting training begins Tuesday and Vincent believes he will find out then who is going to step up for his Greenville Tigers in the fall.

&#8220Tonight let (our players) know we've got a long way to go,” Vincent said. &#8220We'll find out Tuesday just who wants to win.”