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Tigers headed to regional finals

Stephanie King

After not making it further than the third round of the state playoffs the last few years, the Randleman Tigers broke the streak on Friday when they defeated the South Granville Vikings 28-7 in the third round of the NCHSAA 2AA State Football Playoffs. The last time the Tigers reached the regional finals was 36 years ago in 1983. They would go on to win 2A state championship that year, their third straight championship. Randleman entered Friday’s third-round match-up 12-0 on the season.

Randleman received the ball to start the game, but the first quarter would go by without a score. After punting the ball and turning the ball over on fourth down, the Tigers ended the quarter with the ball on their 44-yard line. Randleman opened the second quarter with a 44-yard touchdown pass from Coby Price to Robby Rich just fifteen seconds into the quarter. Chris Gentry tacked on the extra point, giving the Tigers a 7-0. South Granville responded on the ensuing kickoff taking the kickoff 98 yards into the end zone. After the extra point, this one was tied 7-7 with 11:34 left in the second quarter. Eleven minutes would go by before Randleman scored their second touchdown of the quarter. Price connected with Rich for a 25-yard touchdown with 14.7 seconds left in the quarter. Gentry’s extra point attempt was good, giving the Tigers a 14-7 halftime lead.

After deferring the ball to start the game, South Granville received to kickstart the second quarter but was forced to punt on fourth down by the Tigers’ defense. Randleman took over and needed three tries before finally finding the end zone for the third time. The Tigers went to the air once again as Price found Dawson Edwards for a 25-yard touchdown pass with 5:23 left in the third quarter. After the extra point, Randleman led 21-7. The Tigers’ defense continued to be a nightmare for the Vikings forcing them to punt on fourth down once again. Randleman would have the ball and a 21-14 lead as the third quarter came to a close.

The Tigers made a few moves before finding themselves staring down a possible fourth-down punting situation. Randleman converted the fourth down on an 11-yard pass from Harrison Moffitt to Dominick Poole. A couple of plays later, the Tigers found themselves in the end zone for their fourth touchdown of the night. Edwards scored his second touchdown of the night, this time on a 26-yard run with 7:28 left in the game. Gentry’s extra point gave the Tigers a 28-7 lead and enough cushion to close out the game. The Tigers’ defense handled things the rest of the way holding the Vikings and forcing a fumble recovery with about three minutes left. Randleman ran out the clock to clinch their spot in the NCHSAA 2AA East Regional Finals. The 28-7 win over South Granville sets up a meeting with Salisbury in next week’s regional final.

Coby Price finished the night with 7-of-11 passes for 165 yards and three touchdown passes. Na’hiem Lilly led the ground attack for the Tigers picking up 120 rushing yards on 26 carries. Rich had 69 receiving yards on two receptions with both receptions coming as touchdowns. Edwards added 28 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown, 70 receiving yards on three receptions, and one receiving touchdown. On defense, he finished with two tackles, two assisted tackles, and one tackle for a loss. Dominick Poole had a solid night with 35 receiving yards on three receptions and nine assisted tackles on defense.

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