If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
By: Corey Stott
MEMPHIS, Mo.- 9/24/21- A blustery but sunny day for a Homecoming parade turned into a cool, breezy and wet evening by the time kickoff rolled around. But even the rain that lasted most of the first half couldn’t dampen the Tigers’ Homecoming spirit. Looking for a rebound after a tough road trip to Lincoln, Coach Troy Carper’s Tigers (2-3 overall, 2-2 conference) pounced early and often on the Salisbury Panthers (1-3 overall and conference) Friday night.
The theme for homecoming week was “We got the beat”, and the Tigers certainly were in rhythm from the outset. In a game that was all Scotland County, the Tigers tallied a convincing 52-14 victory.
Salisbury won the toss and elected to receive to start the game. A flag for a block in the back immediately pinned the Panthers deep. They started their first drive at their own 5-yard line. The Panthers turned it over on downs after a seven-play drive stalled out at their own 21- yard line.
That set the Tigers up with excellent field position to start their first drive. On the second play of the drive, Riley Small ran over the left side for the 14-yard touchdown score. The Alex Long two-point dive was good and the Tigers led 8-0 just under two minutes into the game.
The Panthers regrouped and began their next possession at the Tiger 49-yard line. The Panther tempo offense seemed to set the Tigers back on their heels. Before long, Salisbury was knocking on the door at the Tiger 14-yard line. Scotland County appeared to be in position to stop the drive, but the Panthers converted a 4th and 2 with a Grant Biere quarterback keeper for three yards. Three plays later they found paydirt on a 5-yard touchdown pass to Jake Sellers with 6:08 remaining in the 1st quarter. The 2-point pass was incomplete and the Tiger lead was narrowed to 8-6.
The Tigers punted on their next possession and then Salisbury turned it over on downs on their next drive to start the 2nd quarter. Scotland County then needed only four plays capped off with a Hayden Long quarterback keeper up the gut for the 57-yard touchdown scamper with just under 10 minutes remaining in the half. The 2-point dive was no good and the Tigers led 14-6.
On the next Panther drive, Corbyn Spurgeon came up with an interception of a Biere pass on 4th and 5 from the Panther 39-yard line. A block in the back set the Tigers back to the Panther 45-yard line and an Alex Long 36-yard run had the Tigers with 1st and 10 at the Panther 19-yard line. A pass interference on the Panthers left the Tigers with 1st and goal at the 9-yard line when Hayden Long took it himself off the right corner for the touchdown with 8:07 left in the half. The Trayton Buckallew 2-point dive was good and the Tigers were cruising 22-6. Both teams traded punts and the half ended with the Tigers up by 16 points.
Scotland County took the ball to start the second half of play. On the first play from scrimmage of the half, the Hayden Long ran the ball up the left sideline for a 57- yard touchdown dash. The 2-point try was no good and the Tigers extended the lead to 30-6 only 15 seconds into the 2nd half.
On their next drive, the Tigers again found the end zone with a creative play call. Trayton Buckallew motioned right and went under center, taking the snap. He then pitched right to Alex Long, who took it in from 11 yards out with 9:34 in the 3rd quarter. The 2-point dive by Alex Long was good and the Tigers led 38-6.
A Salisbury fumble set up a touchdown run by Alex Long on the next possession with 7:02 in the 3rd quarter. A muffed snap led to a Hayden Long scramble for the 2-point conversion. It was all Tigers at that point 46-6 and the clock was running in accordance with the mercy rule.
Scotland County added another touchdown with 2:37 remaining in the 3rd quarter when Alex Long busted off a 52-yard sprint down the right sideline. Spurgeon’s extra point kick was wide right and the Tigers extended to a 52-6 lead.
The younger Tigers then got into the game and a short field resulting from a high snap on 4th and 21 at the Tiger 47-yard line gave the Panthers the chance to strike on a Biere bootleg right with 1:14 left to play. His 2-point pass to Daniel White was good and it resulted in the final score of 52-14.
After the game, Coach Carper said this was a nice bounce back game for the Tigers. “Things looked a lot better. We were at full strength. We still have plenty to work on, but the kids were having fun tonight.”
Asked about his offensive game plan, Carper said, “We’ve gone to some pretty simple stuff. We’re not putting anything else in, we’re just rolling with what we have. The kids really responded tonight and the Long twins went off.”
He added that the young men did a good job of tuning out the distractions of a homecoming week. “It was way different than normal. (Friday) was really low-key. We came out and painted the field during the day while some of the other kids were building their floats. We spent some time together and just enjoyed our time.”
The Tigers put up 319 yards of total offense, with all of it on the ground. The Panthers got 199 total yards. Biere had 140 of those yards through the air and the other 59 were rushing yards for the team.
Hayden Long led the rushing attack with 16 carries for 190 yards and three touchdowns. Alex had only eight carries but made the most of them, picking up 111 yards and three touchdowns. Riley Small carried twice for 15 yards and a touchdown, Jadin Fuller three times for 11 yards, Buckallew twice for six yards and Beau Triplett once for two yards.