Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 26, 2004
In case fans blinked, it took only a few plays for Luverne High School to make its dominance known on the gridiron last Friday night.
The fifth-ranked Tigers (6-1, 5-0) ran only 11 plays and scored seven times in the first half of its Homecoming contest against region foe B.B. Comer as they ran away with a 47-6 win.
"I thought overall we played well," LHS head coach Mike DuBose said. "I don't know that I've ever seen so many one-play drives before. So obviously you're doing something well offensively when the big-play potential is there with the running backs, receivers and the quarterbacks. I thought we played well from that standpoint."
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Luverne finished the first half with 225 yards of offense, led by junior quarterback Ryan Brown, who threw for touchdowns of 29, 12, 83, 42 and 11 yards. The Tigers also scored on runs of 10 and 21 yards.
The Tigers went three and out in their first possession of the game, but quickly got the ball back when senior Josh Tompkins recovered a B.B. Comer fumble at Luverne's 10-yard-line. One play later, sophomore running back Fred Hawkins scooted into the end zone for six. Senior kicker Daniel Brown's point after kick was good giving the home team an early 7-0 lead.
Luverne scored on the first play of its ensuing possession when Ryan Brown connected with junior receiver Rogerick Rutledge on a 29-yard pass. It took two plays for the Tigers to find the end zone on their next drive. Following a 24-yard run by Hawkins, senior receiver Daniel Norton hauled in Ryan Brown's 12-yard pass for the score.
The Tigers scored on the first play on their next four possessions to put the game out of reach. Junior Jesse Dixon hauled in Ryan Brown's 83-yard pass, Rutledge caught a 42-yard pass and Pat Parks scored on an 11-yard reception. Dixon mixed things up a bit by scoring on a 21-yard run.
Luverne's coaching staff started subbing in its second string with just over three minutes remaining until halftime. At the half, the Tigers had put the game out of reach, 47-0
In the second half, DuBose and his staff continued to test the team's depth.
"We played everybody that we dressed with the exception of one young man, who had just been cleared of a head injury and I decided to hold him," DuBose said. "We dressed 44 and played 43."
DuBose said the experience Luverne's bench players received could prove valuable in the playoffs.
"Any time you can get some of those young guys game experience it's got to help you," he said. "There's just certain things you can't create in practice. So to be able to get the second and third groups in the game to get experience is extremely valuable."
The Tigers finished the night with 285 yards of total offense. Ryan Brown completed 7 of 8 passes for 193 yards and five touchdowns. Hawkins was the team's leading rusher with 34 yards on two attempts and one score.
Luverne's defense held the visiting Tigers' offense to 145 total yards including 128 yards rushing and 17 yards passing. Senior linebacker Justin Bayman led Luverne's defense with five tackles and an interception. Senior linebacker Brandon Acreman also finished the night with five tackles and senior defensive back Josh Sexton added four tackles.
With the win, the Tigers secured a spot in the Class 2A state playoffs. They will continue their quest for the Region 3 title as they host region rival Lanett tomorrow night.
"Lanett is probably the most improved team in our region," DuBose said. "They're a big, physical team and with the exception of Opp is maybe the biggest team we've played in some areas."
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.