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Tigers claim County crown

The Luverne Tigers claimed their first outright county championship in 8 years with a decisive 35-13 win over Highland Home last Friday night.

The Tigers had to come from behind as the Squadron played tough football the first half, leading 13 to 6 going into half. The flyboys scored first on a 7 yard pass from QB John Dunn to Chris McGhee. The pat was kicked by D’Andrea Cole. The drive culminated a 14 play, 81 yard drive on their first possession. The tigers answered the flyboy drive with one of their own on their first possession also. The drive started on their 36 yard line and ended 12 plays later as Walter Barber scored from 6 yards out. The PAT was missed, and with eleven minutes left in the first, the tigers had pulled within 1 point.

But the squadron wasn’t through as they mounted a 4 play, 34 yard drive on their second possession of the second quarter. The TD came on a 10 yard pass from Dunn to Kase Kelly. The Pat was missed and with 6 minutes left in the first half, the flyboys had extended their lead to 13 to 6 over the tigers.

The second half belonged to the tigers as they scored 29 unanswered points. The first tiger TD came at the end of an 8 play, 62 yard drive. The TD came on a 1 yard run by Walter Barber, but the pat was missed. And with 8 minutes left in the third quarter the tigers had cut into the squadron lead again, leaving the score 13 to 12 in favor of the flyboys.

Each team’s defense controlled the rest of the third quarter as they allowed no scoring. The tigers finally gained the lead on a flyboy miscue with 1:35 left in the third quarter as a snap on a punt attempt sailed over the punter’s head and into the end zone where it was covered by a flyboy for a safety and 2 points for the tigers.

After this the tigers seemed to open their offense up as they scored 21 fourth-quarter points. The first TD came on a 7 yard run by Monterio May; he also added the pat on a run. The TD came at the end of a 46 yard drive that took 5 plays. The next tiger TD came after a 7 play, 52 yard drive. It was scored by Tige Townsend on a 10 yard run. The pat was kicked by Robert Freeman. The final tiger score came at the end of a 1 play, 8 yard drive. It came after a squadron turnover deep in their end of the field. Forrest Ray got the touchdown, and Freeman added the final points of the night for the tigers.

The tiger offense rolled for 325 total yards of the night, 26 through the air, and 299 on the ground. The tiger defense held the flyboys to 95 yards through the air and 93 on the ground. The tigers massed 22 first downs while allowing 9 to the flyboys. Lance Brooks led the tiger rushers with 114 yards on 16 carries. Jonathan Moultry led all squadron rushers with 82 yards on the ground.

Lenny Brooks led the tiger defense with 7 tackles, while Evan Richardson added 5 and Hayden Shelton pitched in with 4 stops. Nick McManigle blocked a squadron PAT attempt in the second quarter of the game.

Highland Home’s freshman quarterback John Dunn connected on 6 for 13 for 104 yards, a season high 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.

Highland Home seniors who played their hearts out at their last high school football game were Drew Rogers, Cris Boyd, Desmond Harris, Jonathan Moultry, Deandre Cole, and Alex Gipson.

The Tigers travel to Brundidge Friday night to start the first round of the playoffs against Pike County.