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Luverne hands Miller 19-14 loss

Luverne traveled to Brewton last Friday night and handed T.R. Miller their first early round playoff loss in several years.

The home side stood in disbelief as Ryan McGhee batted down a last ditch effort pass as time ran out Friday night to give the Luverne Tigers a 19 to 14 win over Miller. As the home side stood motionless and silent, it was joy and jubilation on the Luverne side.

“I thought it was a good win, especially being on the road,” LHS head coach Les Sanders said. “I’m real proud of the way our kids hung in there and came out with a victory.”

“I thought our whole offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage—that was very important,” he said.

Neither team could mount a scoring drive during the first quarter, but as the second one started, Miller took over on their 21 yard line after a stalled Luverne drive. The Miller 11 wasted little time in sustaining the drive as they marched 79 yards in 7 plays. Anthony Herbert scored the first points of the game on a 19 yard run with eight and a half minutes left in the first half. The pat was good and now it was Luverne’s time to answer.

The tigers returned the kickoff out to their 31 yard line, and then with skilled precision, the visitors moved down the field to tie the game. The TD came on an 8 yard pass from Monterio May to Evan Richardson with 1:14 left in the half. The pat was kicked by Cody Chrzastek.

Luverne got on the board first in the second half, after their defense had stopped Miller and forced a turnover. Luverne took over on their 20 yard line and moved methodically down the field for their second score of the night. The drive covered 80 yards and took only 7 plays with the TD coming on a 14 yard run by Ryan McGhee; the pat was missed and with 6 minutes left in the third quarter, the tigers from Luverne had their first lead of the night.

Miller wasted no time in reclaiming the lead after they returned the kickoff out to their 31 yard line. The drive covered 69 yards and took 10 plays with the score coming on a 12 yard run by Anthony Herbert. The pat was good and with 2 minutes left in the third quarter, the Miller 11 had regained the lead.

The ensuing kick off was returned out to the Luverne tiger 34 yard line, and then there was thunder in the air as Ryan McGhee tore through a hole in the Miller defense and raced 64 yards down to the Miller 2 yard line. On the next play Monterio May slipped into the end zone behind fantastic blocking from the tiger O line to give the visiting tigers the lead for good. The try for 2 was missed but for all intentional proposes the game was over as the Red Cat defense dominated Miller the rest of the game.

The Tigers were led on defense by Robert Freeman with 5 tackles. Ryan Waters and Lonnie Freeman had 4 each. Seth Wood had two tackles and recovered a Miller fumble.

The tiger defense held Miller to 123 yards passing and 122 on the ground and only 12 first downs. The Tigers’ O gained 398 total yards, 23 via the airways and 375 grounded out. Ryan McGhee had 241 yards in 25 carries, while Lance Brooks pitched in 68 yards in 13 carries. The tigers managed 17 first downs.

The Tigers from Luverne will be home this Friday night as they host the number one ranked team in the 3A ranks, the Trinity Wildcats.

“They’re undefeated, and they’re very good on defense, very physical, and they run the ball real well,” Sanders said about Trinity. “Their quarterback is a threat throwing and running, and they had a receiver with about 20 touchdown catches, so that really concerns us with them having three or four playmakers like that. But this week, we’ve been working on stopping the things they do well.”

Sanders wanted to thank all of the Luverne fans, the parents, the administration and faculty for their continued support of the Tigers.

“It’s meant a lot to the team knowing the fans are there, even when we’re on the road,” he said.

LHS will hold a pep rally tonight at 5:30 on the football field.

Game time Friday night is 7 p.m.

Regina Grayson contributed to this report.