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Tigers fall in round two

Stephanie King

The 2A state football playoffs were back in Randleman on Friday as the undefeated number one seeded Tigers hosted the Brevard Blue Devils. Randleman entered the game on a twelve game winning streak and was looking to push it to thirteen with a win over the Blue Devils.

Randleman won the coin toss and elected to defer until the second half of play. The Blue Devils returned to the punt to the Randleman 43-yard line to begin their first drive of the night. It would be a quick four and out for the Blue Devils as the Randleman defense held their ground. Dominick Poole made two big tackles to force the Blue Devils into a fourth-down punting situation. The Tigers start their first offensive possession strong with a five-yard run from Nick Neal, before being stopped by the Brevard defense. Randleman would be forced to punt the ball on fourth down with about eight minutes remaining in the first quarter.

The Tigers’ defense continued to hold as they forced the Blue Devils to punt the ball once more. Garrett Hernandez came up with a sack to force the fourth down on the Blue Devils. The Tigers went back to work on offense and picked up two first downs after runs from Jaquan Snipes. Unfortunately, the Tigers could not get the ball past midfield and were forced to punt for the second time. It would be another quick trip for the Brevard offense as they could not find a way around Randleman’s defense. Randleman’s offense took over and after three plays the Tigers picked up a first down. The Tigers would end the first quarter one first and ten with the ball on Brevard’s 34-yard line. After one quarter, the score was still tied at 0.

Randleman finally found an opening in the Brevard defenseat the start of the second quarter as Snipes exploded for a 29-yard gain to put the Tigers with in the Brevard five-yard line. Snipes took the handoff on the next play and punched the ball in for the Tigers’ first touchdown with just under eleven minutes left in the quarter. Clayton Gentry made the extra point attempt look easy as the Tigers took a 7-0 lead. After the kickoff, Brevard opened their drive with a big run deep into Tiger territory. The Blue Devils wasted no time as they scored and quickly tied the game at 7 all.

Randleman would take over with the ball on their own 33-yard line. It looked like it would be a quick trip for the Tigers, but an offsides call on the Blue Devils gave the Tigers a free first down. Unfortunately, the Tigers could not capitalize on the first down and were forced to punt. The Blue Devils took over on their own 35-yard line and would quickly get into score territory after a long run from Isaiah Rathbone. Rathbone ran the ball to the Tigers’ six-yard line. Two plays later, Anthony Fields scored on a four-yard run to give the Blue Devils a 14-7 lead. Randleman had the ball on their own 26-yard line with five minutes remaining as they started their next drive. The Tigers moved the ball well as they moved into Brevard territory. Unfortunately, the Blue Devils’ defense held the Tigers and maintained their lead heading into halftime. At the half, Randleman trailed 14-7.

The Tigers received the ball to start the third quarter and got the ball into Brevard territory before being stopped by Blue Devils’ defense. Randleman’s defense returned the favor as they forced the Blue Devils to go four and out. The Tigers made a surge on their next drive as they picked up multiple first downs to get inside Brevard territory. Once the Tigers crossed midfield, the Blue Devils locked in on defense and forced the Tigers to punt the ball on fourth down with about five minutes left in the quarter. The Blue Devils would take over and have the ball for the rest of the quarter. Brevard moved the ball down the field before ending the quarter with a touchdown. After three quarters, Randleman trailed 21-7.

Randleman got the ball to start the fourth quarter and began to work their way down the field. Once in Brevard territory, the Tigers picked up back to back first downs before Timmy York connected with Robbie Rich for a 12-yard touchdown pass. The extra point attempt was missed as the Tigers trailed 21-13. The Tigers’ defense stepped up as they forced the Blue Devils to punt the ball with about six minutes to go. Randleman took over on their own 40-yard line and pushed the ball into Brevard territory. With the ball on the Brevard 37-yard line, the Tigers went for a pass only to the ball picked off on the Brevard one-yard line. The Blue Devils would not get far as the Tigers’ defense stepped up once more to force a fourth down punting situation. Randleman took over inside Brevard territory with about two minutes left in the game. The Tigers worked the ball down the field and had a chance to try and tie the game, but the Blue Devils intercepted the ball on their own six-yard line to end the game. The Tigers’ season comes to an end as they fall 21-13 to Brevard.

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