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Highland Home falls to Luverne Tigers, 47-24

The Luverne Tigers used a strong offense and a potent defense at home last Friday Night to defeat the Flying Squadron from Highland Home, 47-24, moving Luverne up to a 7-3 season and ending a winless season for HHS.

The Tigers could not seem to get on track as the game started, but after a couple of turnovers and ball exchanges the Tigers seemed to get on track. The Tigers finally got their first score with 1:06 left in the first quarter as Quarterback Monterio May raced 12 yards over left guard to get Luverne on the board. The PAT was kicked by Robert Freeman for a 7 point Tiger lead.

The Tigers scored 4 touchdowns in the second quarter alone. The first TD came on a defensive play as Lonnie Freeman picked up a loose Squadron ball and raced 98 yards for a Tiger touchdown.

Robert Freeman again hit the PAT and the Tigers had a 14 point lead. The fumble stopped a Squadron drive that would have allowed them to either tie the game or go ahead, and this seemed to take the fight out of the Flyboys.

The next Luverne score came on an 86 yard run by Chad Free; this was the first Tiger offensive play of the second quarter. Robert Freeman again split the uprights for a 21 to 0 Luverne lead. The Tigers scored again with 1:56 left in the second quarter as QB May hit Ryan McGhee with a 49 yard bomb after he had slipped behind the Squadron defenders. This time the PAT failed.

The next Tiger score came with 46 seconds left in the half as May hit Matthew Sipper, who made a circus catch in the end zone for the touchdown. The ball seemed to pass through several defenders’ hands to find Sipper waiting in the zone. The PAT by Freeman was good, and at halftime, the Tigers had a 34 to 0 lead.

Luverne added two scores in the second half, one by the offense before wholesale substrates were started to be made, and one on a kickoff return in the fourth quarter. The Tiger offense scored with 10:27 left in the third quarter as QB Monterio May hit Chad Free with a well thrown ball, and Free did the rest as he broke several tackles and dashed into the end zone for the score. The play covered 37 yards. Darren Foster came on to kick the PAT and give the Tigers a commanding 41 point lead.

The Flying Squadron scored in the fourth quarter against fresh Tigers. The scores came on a 1 yard run by Chris Wasden after a 59 yard drive. The PAT was good on a pass from Tyler McGough to Jared Edge. The next Flyboys’ score came on a 5 yard run by McGough. Again, the PAT was good on a pass from McGough to Caleb Parsons.

Luverne scored next on a 68 yard kickoff return. The Squadron tried an onside kick when Adam Foster grabbed up the ball and dashed around the right side of the line where the Tigers had set up a wall, and he raced 68 yards for the score. The PAT failed, but the Tigers had added to their lead without the aid of an offensive thrust.

Highland Home scored once more with 23 seconds left in the game as Wasden again found the end zone after a seven yard run. The PAT was good as Javarius Means ran it in from 3 yards out. The Tigers killed the rest of the time for a 47 to 24 win over their county rival.

The Tigers were led on offense by Chad Free with 103 yards on 8 carries, and Micah Wallace had 41 yards on 4 carries. Monterio May was 5 of 10 passing for 172 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Seth Wood led the Tiger defense as he had 6 bone crushing stops on Flyboy runners. Brandon McGhee had a pass interception, and Lonnie Freeman had a fumble return for a TD.

The Luverne Tigers will host Pike County (5-4) this Friday night in the first round of the 3A Region 1 playoffs.

Game time is 7 p.m. in Glenn Daniel Stadium.