Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 19, 2007
Just like last season, the Greenville Tigers dropped the spring football game Friday night in the waning minutes to the Highland Home Flying Squadron, 21-20.
Just like last season, Highland Home quarterback Deymond Sankey led a crucial drive with just seconds remaining and connected with Darius Chambers for a 35-yard touchdown pass to tie the game, 20-20, as time ran out.
Kyle Tucker added the extra point to give the Flying Squadron the win for the second season in a row.
“This is a great motivational tool,” Highland Home head coach Bob Farrior said of Friday night's win. “We're not going to face any team the caliber of (Greenville).”
Sankey, the offensive leader of the night, completed three touchdown passes in the game to lead the Flying Squadron to victory.
“Everybody knows (Sankey's) a great player and he showed a lot of class and determination tonight,” Farrior said.
Sankey's Greenville counterpart, Tiger quarterback Casey Weston, was also responsible for three touchdowns except all three of Weston's came on the ground.
On the night, the Tigers drove into Flying Squadron territory several times, but five Weston sacks and numerous false start penalties killed Greenville drives before they started.
“The pieces of the puzzle are here, but they're scattered everywhere,” Greenville head coach Bryant Vincent said to his team following the game. “This right here is humbling.”
Vincent said the Tigers tried making adjustments defensively to stop the Flying Squadron from opening up the middle, but Greenville just could not adjust in time.
“Give Highland Home all the credit in the world,” Vincent said. “They are a talented bunch of players and they impressed me tremendously with the way they played.”
“They just lined up and beat us,” he added.
The Tigers got the scoring started following a 25-yard run by Charleston Lymon when Weston took the ball in from one yard out.
Less than five minutes later, Sankey connected with Kylen Grace for a 17-yard touchdown pass to tie the game before the half.
Neither team managed to score in the third quarter before Weston once again scored from one yard out just two and a half minutes into the final quarter.
Holding a seven-point lead, Greenville once again got the ball back when the Tiger defense stripped Squadron running back Arico Harris and Tremaine Brewer recovered.
However, on the next play, Weston threw an interception to Chambers at the Highland Home five-yard to end the drive.
A few plays later, Chambers broke a 64-yard run to set up Sankey's second touchdown pass, a four-yard pass to Grace.
With the game tied at 14-14, Weston made several crucial runs to keep the Tiger drive alive before taking the ball in from three yards out with 26 seconds remaining.
The Tiger extra point failed, giving Greenville a 20-14 advantage with less than 30 second remaining.
On the ensuing drive, Sankey made several key runs before completing the game-tying touchdown pass to Chambers as time expired.
Following the game, Vincent said he is concerned whether this year's team has the leadership and guts to overcome this loss like last year's team did.
“The same thing happened last year and look what happened,” Vincent said. “But last year we had leadership.”
“I think this is exactly what we needed,” he added.