SHS hangs on for slim victory (Throwback Thursday)

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 10, 2015


Editor’s Note: This article is part of our “Throwback Thursday” series. This article is from our Sept. 10, 1994 files.


What was billed as a battle of the bulge looked more like a blitzkrieg in the first half Friday night at Straughn. The second half shaped up as expected, and Straughn held on to a one-point halftime lead to defeat Wicksburg, 9-8.


Straughn head coach Trent Taylor said it feels great to be the only 2-0 team in the county, but he said winning both games so far by a one-point margin is taking its toll.


“I’ll be completely white-headed before the season is over if all our games stay this close,” he said after the game.


To Taylor’s surprise, the Wicksburg Panthers came out passing.


“We’d worked our defense against a six-man front all week,” he said. “They kind of caught us off guard, but undoubtedly our defensive line did a great job.”


On its opening drive, Wicksburg rocked the Tigers back on their heels.


After a penalty pushed the Panthers back, they got rolling, covering 80 yards on seven plays. Wicksburg blew the extra point to keep a 6-0 lead with 5:57 left in the first quarter.


Two plays after a Straughn punt, Wicksburg put the ball on the ground for the Tigers to scoop up.


Straughn wasted no time. Sophomore quarterback Quent Stallworth found running back Michael Murphy who got loss for 57 yards and a touchdown. Straughn’s kick sailed wide right and the game was tied at 6 with 2:24 left in the first quarter.


Wicksburg’s next drive stalled around midfield, but a well placed punt by Heath Sellers pushed the Tigers all the way back to their own 6 yard line.


The Wicksburg defense turned it up a notch, dropping Stallworth in the end zone for a safety and an 8-6 lead with 9:22 left in the first half.


Wicksburg recovered its own fumble a few minutes later, but two plays after that a fourth down conversion effort failed and Straughn took over at its own 31.


Straughn chewed up the clock and the field by land and air en route to a 31-yard field goal from junior Scott Rogers with only 46 seconds left in the half.


Wicksburg was content to run the out the half and Straughn took a 9-8 lead to the locker room at halftime.


Taylor said he was confident at halftime.


“I told the kids it was ours to lose. We made a few adjustments to the defense to give a little more support in the secondary and started the second half ready to play,” he said.


The shift in the secondary proved effective as the Tigers kept the Panthers out of scoring territory for the rest of the game.


The rest of the game was an old-fashioned defensive struggle.


Straughn got a break when a 26-yard pass was intercepted by Wicksburg but fumbled on the same play. Straughn took over at the Wicksburg 10 yard line.