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Strong Backfield Leads Thurmond to Victory Over Saluda

web posted August 18, 2018

SPORTS - Football season officially got underway for the Strom Thurmond Rebels last night against local rival, Saluda.  Playing on Matthews Field in Saluda's, Herlong stadium, the Rebels lost the coin toss, but received the kickoff as the Tigers elected to defer until the second half.
After fielding the kickoff, the first play from scrimmage was an exciting 71-yard pass from QB Jequan Harris that took the Rebels to the Saluda 4 yard line.  However, the next play was a fumble that was recovered by Saluda.
The Tigers were unable to make any progress, and Saluda QB Noah Bell ended up being called for intentional grounding from his own end zone that resulted in a 2 point safety for the Rebels.
When the next Thurmond drive stalled, Saluda scored on a 78-yard pass from Bell to WR Dallan Wright.  The extra point was blocked.
With 44 seconds left in the 1st quarter, Freshman RB Charquez Booker, scored the first Rebel touchdown of the season on a 4-yard run.  Left-footed kicker, Hunter Bledsoe made the extra point making the score ST 9, Saluda 6.
The second quarter found WR Philip Merriwether making a key catch to set up a 3-yard touchdown run by QB Harris with about 5:23 left before the half.  The extra point was good, and the score stood at 16 to 6, where it remained until intermission.
Returning for the second half, Tiger senior WR O'syruis Springs fumbled the kickoff leading to a Thurmond recovery at the Saluda 24-yard line.  A few plays later, junior RB, Stanley Hill toted the football in on an 8-yard run.  Bledsoe made good on the extra point taking the score to 23 to 6.
With about 8 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter, Philip Merriwether caught a touchdown pass from Harris, and Bledsoe bounced the extra point kick off the crossbar making the score 30-6.
As the 4th quarter got underway, MLB Devron Williams stripped the ball from a Saluda player, giving Thurmond the ball.  Later in the 4th quarter with 6:30 left in the game, Bell connected with Wright on an 11-yard Tiger TD pass.  Saluda's 2 point conversion failed as CB Justin Williams batted the ball to the ground.
A series of passes by Saluda in their final drive of the game, resulted in setting up a short touchdown run by Tiger QB Bell with 2.8 seconds remaining in the game.  The extra point was good.
The final score was Thurmond 30, Saluda 19.

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