Field goal seals it for ER

Stephanie King

It was a battle for second place in the PAC-6 conference on Friday night as the Randleman Tigers hosted the Eastern Randolph Wildcats at Charles R. Gregory Stadium. Both teams came in at 2-1 in conference play, while Randleman was 7-2 on the season and Eastern Randolph was 6-3.

Randleman won the coin and elected to receive the ball to start this game. Austin Stone returned the kick off for some big yardage for the Tigers. Quarterback Tanner McGee found Isaiah Davis for a Tiger first down. Randleman was geared up to play as they came out aggressive and reminded the Wildcats where they were. Stone dominated for the Tigers early on, picking up a couple of Tiger first downs. Eastern Randolph’ Patrick Lennon caught McGee outside the pocket and brought him down on a sack for a big loss. The Wildcat defense would stand their ground and force the Tigers into an early turnover. A pass to Justin Parsons and a run by Tyrese Austin would be good enough for a Wildcat first down. Austin would find Parsons again for a huge run down to the one yard line, but a block in the back on the Wildcats brought the ball back. Eastern Randolph picked up another block in the back call and a false start call that pushed them back even further. Austin and the Wildcats made up for those penalties as he found Dezmin Austin for a Wildcat first down. Moments later Austin would find Tyrese Cassidy in the end zone for the Wildcats’ first touchdown of the night. Elvi Ramirez would nail the extra point attempt to give the Wildcats a 7-0 lead. Randleman would take over and move the ball up to the fifty yard line as the first quarter came to a close. Eastern Randolph led 7-0.

The second quarter would open with a Randleman punt on fourth down. Eastern Randolph took over and picked up a couple of yards before they too punted the ball away. Randleman tried to fight their way through the Eastern Randolph defense and made their way down into Wildcat territory on third and one. A false start call would move them back and the Tigers would end up throwing an incomplete pass on fourth down. Eastern Randolph took over on downs and went back to work on offense. The Wildcats would move the ball down the field, but the Tiger defense forced them into a fourth down situation on their own side of the field. Eastern Randolph would choose to try a field goal, but the kick would be missed and that handed the ball right back to the Tigers. Randleman would move the ball a ways up the field before taking a knee to run out the clock. The second quarter ended with the Wildcats still on top 7 to 0.

At halftime Randleman inducted their 2016 Hall of Fame class. Inductees included the 2011 Randleman state champion baseball team, Maurice Petty, Dale Inman, and legendary NASCAR driver Kyle Petty.

Eastern Randolph would receive the ball to start the third quarter of play. The Tigers’ kick would sail out of bounds, giving the Wildcats the ball on their own thirty-five yard line. A block in the back call would send the Wildcats back, but they made up for it on the following play. Tyrese Austin connected with Tyrese Cassidy for a seventy-eight yard touchdown pass. The extra point attempt would be good as Eastern Randolph took a 14-0 lead over the Tigers. Eastern Randolph would force the Tigers into a quick four and out for another Tiger turnover. ER’s Malik Herbert took the hand off on the first play of the drive and took it the ten yards for a Wildcat first down. After the run by Herbert, Eastern Randolph could not get anything going. Randleman’s defense would hold the Wildcats and forced them to punt on fourth down. Randleman would pick up one first down and then convert on third down after a huge throw from Tanner McGee to Austin Stone.

McGee would try for the touchdown pass on the next play, but the pass was incomplete. On the following play, McGee took the ball himself and ran his way around the Eastern Randolph defense and ran it into the end zone. The extra point attempt would be blocked by the Wildcats’ defense as the Tigers cut the lead to 6-14. Eastern Randolph took over, but would not get far as Austin threw an interception. Tyson Green came down with the pick and returned it to the Eastern Randolph twenty yard line. With 3:05 left in the third quarter, Randleman had the ball on the Wildcats’ three yard line and Tanner McGee would use the quarterback keeper to score. This one would be all tied up after the two point conversion run by Stone. Randleman’s defense would turn things up on Eastern Randolph’s next drive and forced them into a quick four and out. The Wildcats’ defense gave the Tigers some trouble during the early part of their next drive. On third and long, McGee would find Gunnar Gantt for another Tiger first down. The third quarter would draw to a close with the score tied at 14 all.

Randleman opened the fourth quarter on third and one, but Tanner McGee would be sacked for a loss on the play. However, a hit to the head call would go against the Wildcats and gave the Tigers fifteen free yards and an automatic first down. Austin Stone would take the ball on the ensuing play and punch one into the end zone to give the Tigers their first lead of the night. Zack Bailey made the extra point attempt to give the Tigers a 21-14 lead over the Wildcats. Eastern Randolph would not get far on their next drive as the Randleman’s defense stepped up to make stops. It would be a quick four and out for the Tigers as they punted the ball away on fourth down. Eastern Randolph would make their way down the field and add another touchdown to their score. Tyrese Austin found Tyrese Cassidy for their third touchdown of the night. The extra point attempt was good as this one was all tied up at 21.

Randleman took over and moved the ball to the Wildcats’ forty-one yard line before turning the ball over on fourth down. Eastern Randolph would take over with the ball on their own forty-one yard line. They picked up a yard before having to punt the ball away on fourth down. Randleman would pick up a first down on the first play of the drive on a pass from McGee to Isaiah Davis. The Tigers would be called for an ineligible receiver penalty and loose five yards. McGee would throw an interception on the ensuing play that put the Wildcats on the Tigers’ ten yard line. A delay of game call would go against the Wildcats and push them back to the fifteen yard line. Eastern Randolph could not find a way into the end zone and settled for a field goal attempt with 3.3 seconds left in the game. Elvi Ramirez would nail the field goal to give the Wildcats a 24-21 win as time expired. The win moves the Wildcats to 3-1 in PAC-6 and gives them sole possession of second place. They would move to 7-3 overall on the season, while the Tigers fall to 2-2 in conference play and 7-3 overall on the season.

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