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Luverne defeats Geneva in scrimmage, looks to Georgiana

The Luverne Tigers kicked off the 2019 football season with a convincing 34-12 victory against 3A Geneva on the road last Friday night.

The starters played the first half of this pre-season practice game, and the non-starters, mostly the B-Team, played the second half.

The Tigers won the coin toss and elected to go on offense.

Behind an experienced and talented offensive line, Luverne marched quickly down the field sixty-three yards to pay dirt, with QB Tanner Simmons connecting with RaJa Moneyham for a fourteen-yard touchdown pass.

After a three-and-out by the defense, running back Keeshaun Glanton raced fifty-two yards for the second Tiger touchdown.

PJ Rich kicked his first of four straight extra points, and LHS led the Panthers 13-0 midway through the first quarter. 

After a second consecutive three-and-out by the Tiger defense, the first team offense had another good drive going but fumbled the ball away on the Panther thirty-yard line.

Geneva then put together their best drive of the night, aided by two Luverne personal foul penalties.

The Panthers had a first and goal on the Tiger two-yard line when the Luverne defense made a big statement for the upcoming season by forcing a fumble on fourth down that was recovered and returned twenty yards by safety Nikki Taylor.

The offense then started a long drive that culminated in a forty-seven-yard touchdown pass from Tanner Simmons to Satyler Wilson.

The speedy receiver made a spectacular catch at the thirty-five-yard line and outran the Panther defenders to the end zone.

Geneva scored their only varsity points on the ensuing kickoff as the Panther returner galloped seventy-two yards for the score.

The extra point attempt sailed wide right, and the Tigers led 20-6.

Luverne added two more touchdowns before halftime with a three-yard TD pass from Simmons to Wilson, and a twelve-yard TD run by Glanton.

The Tiger starters not only led 34-6 at halftime, but they had totally dominated the statistics. Quarterback Tanner Simmons was 8 for 16 passing for 120 yards and three touchdowns.

The offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage with 19 rushing attempts for 176 yards.

Keeshaun Glanton had 12 rushing attempts for 120 yards and two touchdowns.

The starting Tiger defense held Geneva to less than fifty yards of total offense with most of that through the air.

Safety Nikki Taylor had 4.5 tackles and a fumble recovery.

All-State linebacker Arian Gregory had several tackles and two forced fumbles.

The defensive line, led by William Cooks, Richard Lord, and Tray Oliver, held the Panther offense to negative yards rushing.

In the second half, Geneva scored a touchdown on its first drive, making the score 34-12. John Taylor had fifty-one rushing yards on seven attempts, and PJ Rich had thirty yards on three attempts.

QB John Gregory Garmon completed two passes for fifteen yards to receiver ZyMorian Smith.

Also, Austin Taylor, who played in the second quarter and the second half, recorded several tackles.

This Friday, August 30, 2019, 7:00 pm, Luverne travels to Panther Stadium in Georgiana, Alabama, to tangle with one of the best 1A teams in the state for the last several years.

“This is a really talented team to open up our season with on the road”, said head coach Scott Rials.

“Last season’s game was a barn-burner in Luverne with us winning 26-13. That victory propelled us into a very successful season, and hopefully, we can achieve the same results this year,” he concluded.

Georgiana won their opening game 40-14 over St. Luke Episcopal on the road in Mobile.

Story by the “Tiger Paw Patrol”