Tigers race away with Highland Home game

Published 5:19 pm Saturday, September 12, 2015

Don’t let the final score of 53-18 fool you. Friday night’s game between Luverne and Highland Home was a close one … at least for the first half.

“We ran out of gas,” said Highland Home head coach Gregg Baker. “We have so little depth, that when our big dogs gave out we went flat.”

Highland Home managed to stay within reach of Luverne’s lead. Volleying for control of the ball at every turn.

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Luverne had some turnovers and a fumble that gave Highland Home a few opportunities to score.

Luverne head coach Scott Rials said it took a while for his team to get into the game.

“We put up a good effort but still struggle sometimes on game day, getting our minds right and ready to play,” he said. “That comes with maturity. We are really concentrating on getting the team ready to play at 7 o’clock.”

The Luverne offense opened up in the second half.

Luverne quarterback Austin Bryant was 9 of 14 passing for 250 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He had 13 carries for 121 yards.

Dionte Brantley was 1 of 1 for 73 yards and a touchdown.

Marcus McGhee had 17 carries for 153 yards.

The Tigers had 323 yards passing and 311 yards rushing for a total of 634.

The Squadron did have a few standouts in the rival match. Cammeron Felder had eight carries for 66 yards and one touchdown.

Highland Home quarterback Chase Mansmann put up some key efforts on both sides of the ball.

“Chase had a pretty good game if you take away the picks,” Baker said. “He played really well on defense and ran the ball really hard. He had a lot more carries thus more rushing yards – but that was part of our game plan going in.”

Mansmann’s night included 11 carries for 79 yards. Mansmann was 14 for 27 passing for 104 yards and four interceptions.

Roddrick Bell had seven catches for 73 yards.

Kirkland Merriweather had an 89-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and Rodricus McLemore had a 30-yard fumble return for a touchdown.

Highland Home had 115 yards passing and 158 yards rushing for a total of 273 yards.

The Squadron will host Zion Chapel Friday night. Highland Home won 28-14 the last time the teams met on the field.

“Zion Chapel is a ball control offense. They want to grind out first downs and burn up clock,” said Baker. “Defensively, they are not too bad. They have an outstanding kicker who scares me to death.”

Another potential problem for the Squadron is it is their homecoming game.

“It’s all about overcoming the distractions and focusing on the task at hand,” Baker said. “A region game against another quality opponent.”

Luverne will travel to Central Hayneville for region play. The Tigers have beat Central the last five times they played each other, including last year’s 19-6 win. Rials said there are no guarantees.

“We’re going to go on the road, put our best foot forward and hopefully put up a W,” he said. “We’re just trying to improve with each game. Our best games are still ahead of us.”