They’re in!

Published 1:57 am Saturday, October 5, 2013

Straughn clinches berth

The Tigers of Straughn High School clinched a playoff berth Friday night in a 40-22 thumping of the Bayside Admirals.

Straughn head coach Trent Taylor credited his offensive line as being a huge part of the Tigers’ win at home in what may have been their most complete offensive performance of the season.

“Our offensive line must have played outstanding,” Taylor said following the victory. “Obviously, you don’t know until you watch the film, but we played well on the ground and we had some big throws and catches at some crucial times.”

The Tigers did indeed find success running the ball against the Admirals, scoring off the legs of two different ball carriers and adding impressive yardage from two others in between end zones.

The Tigers drew first blood in Friday’s contest, scoring on a 13-yard touchdown strike from quarterback Rollin Kinsaul to put Straughn up 7-0 with 1:28 to play in the first quarter.

Bayside struck back on their next possession with a 40-yard touchdown pass, tacking on a 2-point conversion toss to take an 8-7 lead.

Trailing by one point, the Tigers put together a strong drive that began at their own 32-yard-line, capping it off with a 1-yard touchdown run from Jarvaris Samuel. A missed 2-point conversion attempt left Straughn leading Bayside 13-7 with 8:31 to play in the second quarter.

The Tigers defense came alive late in the first half, recovering an Admiral fumble, but Straughn’s offense also coughed up the ball two plays later, giving Bayside’s offense life yet again.

The Admirals took full advantage of the change in momentum, driving 31 yards and finding pay dirt with a 3-yard touchdown run. Another successful 2-point conversion left the Tigers trailing 16-13 with only 3:27 to go in the half.

The Tigers took to the air on their next possession as Kinsaul hooked up with Brice Scott for a first-down pass, before running back Daryl George broke free on the ground for a 36-yard scamper. The drive ended with repeat of an earlier score as Kinsaul took the ball to the 1-yard line, setting up another 1-yard touchdown run by Samuel to give the Tigers a 20-16 lead heading into half time.

Bayside got the ball to begin second half action, but Straughn’s defense held tough, forcing a turnover on downs. The Tiger offense picked up where they left off before the break. George and running back Devin Scott traded first-down carries, mounting a strong drive that ended with a third touchdown run from Samuel, this time from 9 yards out. The score gave the Tigers a 27-16 lead.

Bayside was able to find the end zone once more late in the third quarter with a long touchdown run, closing the scoring gap, as they trailed 27-22.

The Tigers came alive once again in the fourth quarter, scoring twice more off two touchdown runs of 1 and 30 yards by Kinsaul to put the Admirals away by a final score of 40-22.

Taylor said he was proud of the performance of his team on both sides of the ball.

“Defensively, I cannot say enough,” Taylor said. “That team’s as potent as any we’ll play. I have to give them a lot of credit.”

Taylor said his team (5-1,4-0) now has to use the momentum from this win to finish a tough stretch of region games, beginning next week with a trip to Excel.

“I hope we carry a lot of momentum and we come back to work on Monday knowing that that one’s over and we have to get ready for the next one,” Taylor said. “We have three tough region games left in Excel, T.R. Miller and Opp.”

Straughn will meet Excel next Friday on the road. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.