Tigers still standing

Published 12:02 am Saturday, November 6, 2010

Straughn’s Chase Short rushed for 168 yards and stopped what looked like a sure UMS-Wright touchdown late in the first half to lead the Tigers to a 36-32 victory Friday night.

SHS coach Trent Taylor called Short’s stop the key to Friday night’s win. Short, a sophomore, returned to action this week after suffering an injury at last week’s game against Daleville. He was cleared to play this week.

“The key play tonight was when we fumbled the ball, and going into the half, Chase Short caught that guy at the 5 so they only got 3 points instead of 6,” Taylor said.

With the first half winding down, the Tigers were attempting to add a few more points. Dewrell dropped back for a pass, but lost the ball and it came down into the hands of a Bulldog defender who had nothing but green grass in between him and the end zone.

Fifty-yards away, Short was able to hawk down the ball carrier, and bring him down on the five-yard line with two seconds left in the half. The Bulldogs where able to get a 22-yard field goal as the first half came to an end with UMS on top 24-20.

UMS got the night started off with a bang, taking their opening drive 76 yards on seven plays with Chris Dukes finishing the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run to give the Bulldogs an early 7-0 lead.

The Tigers answered on a 75-yard drive in which senior quarterback Josh Dewrell scored on a 24-yard run. The PAT was no good, and the score was 7-6.

On the Bulldogs’ next offensive possession, Dukes found the end zone for his second touchdown on an eight-play, 80-yard scoring drive to give the Bulldogs an early 14-6 lead.

Straughn scored again using a 14-play, 70-yard drive and nearly took five minutes off the clock before senior Colten Lewis found the end zone from 2-yards out. Dewrell scored the two-point conversion, the Tigers tied the score at 14.

The Tiger defense stepped it up on the next possession, causing a fumble which the Tigers recovered on the Bulldogs 13 yard line.

Following the short field, the Tiger offense was able to get in the end zone in three plays with Zac Turvin picking up the touchdown on a five-yard run. The extra point was no good, bringing the score to 20-14 with almost eight minutes to play in the first half.

The Bulldogs’ next possession ended the same way as their first two did with Dukes finding the end zone for the third time in the first half. Dukes scored 12-yards out. Following the extra point, the Bulldogs retook the lead 21-20 with 3:33 left in the first half.

The Bulldogs first possession of the second half would be the final time they where able to find the end zone again with Dukes scoring his fourth touchdown of the night this time from 2-yards out giving the Bulldogs a 32-20 lead.

The Tigers quickly answered back, when Short took the ball 70 yards for the touchdown. Following a successful two-point conversion, Straughn trimmed the Bulldog lead to 32-28.

The Tiger defense really came out strong the next possession, forcing a turnover on downs on just four plays.

After the defensive stop, Straughn used another long drive to recapture the lead with a 13-play drive that saw two fourth-down conversions. Dewrell capped off the drive with a 1-yard run into the end zone. Following another successful two-point conversion attempt, the Tigers took the lead and ended the scoring at 36-32.

Straughn finished with 57 rushes for 324 yards and 66 yards in the air, for a total of 390 yards. The leading rusher for Straughn was Short with 23 carries for 168 yards and one touchdown. Dewrell had 22 carries for 82 yards and two touchdowns.

Dukes had 31 carries for 231 yards and four touchdowns.

The win advanced Straughn to the second round of Class 4A state playoffs. The Tigers will be on the road against top-ranked Thomasville next week.