Tigers end season in state playoffs

by | November 17, 2004 12:00 am

By MAC CANADY

By MAC CANADY

After a momentous victory in Thomasville in round one of the AA State Playoffs, the Swainsboro Tigers traveled to Folkston to face the highly regarded Charlton County Indians. The Indians were defeated by Buford in the AA State Championship game in 2003. Charlton County went right to work on the Tigers with their impressive passing attack and abundance of outstanding athletes on both sides of the football.

After the opening kick, only two minutes and 22 seconds passed before the Indians had found their way into the end zone. Quarterback Dwight Dasher scampered 48 yards down field for the score. The two-point conversion attempt failed and the Indians jumped out to an early 6-0 lead. Swainsboro took the kickoff and went three plays and out on the ensuing drive. Punter Dustin Peebles, who averaged 27.8 yards per punt in the game, banged his first punt 32 yards and pinned the Indians near their own end zone. Bad field position didn’t seem to bother Charlton County, who drove right back down the field and scored on a 30-yard touchdown pass. Again their two point conversion attempt was no good. The Tigers got the ball back, but were unable to come up with any points. They did tally 63 yards and four first downs, in the last three minutes of the first quarter.

The first part of the second quarter was a defensive struggle. Swainsboro was forced to punt the ball away at the beginning of the quarter. The Indians were unable to gain yards and were forced to punt it away as well. The Tigers took possession again, but were not able to move and had to punt it away again. When Charlton County took over this time, they picked up some momentum and drove down field. Dasher hooked up with one of his speedy receives for thirty yards and another Indian touchdown.The two-point conversion was good and at halftime the Indians had a commanding lead over Swainsboro 20-0.

Even though the score at halftime didn’t look so good for Swainsboro their numbers in the first two quarters were respectable. The Tigers rushed for 109 yards in the first half; compared to Charlton County’s 39 rushing yards. Leon Williams accounted for 75 of Swainsboro’s yards on the ground. Terrance Foots accumulated 43 yards in the first half.

Swainsboro took the ball to begin the third quarter, but went three plays and out against the stingy Indian defense. Peebles 34-yard punt looked good until the punt returner brought it back 30 yards. It wasn’t long before the Indians found their way into the end zone again. This time it was on a 63-yard pass completion. The two point conversion was good and Charlton County led Swainsboro 28-0 with 9:15 left in the third quarter. The Swainsboro offense led by sophomore Quarterback Johnny Dixon quickly gave the ball back to the Indians, who in turn took it down field for yet another touchdown. After the failed extra point attempt, Charlton County’s lead increased to 34-0.

The Tigers weren’t ready to give up just yet. On their ensuing drive Swainsboro marched down field and posted their first points of the evening. Running back Terrance Foots fought his way into the end zone from five yards out to put the Tigers on the board. Marcus Foots split the uprights on the PAT attempt. Now 34-7 the Tigers attempted an onside kick. The attempt failed and Charlton County recovered the ball with very good field position. After less than one minute of possession, the Indians hit pay dirt again—this time on a quarterback keeper. The extra point was good and the score was 41-7 in favor of the Indians.

According to the new mercy rule in high school football, if a team is down by more than thirty points at the beginning of the fourth quarter their will be a “fast clock.” Which means if a team is down more than thirty points the clock will run without stopping in the fourth quarter. Neither team was able to score in the final quarter.

Leon Williams led the Tigers in the rushing column. He rushed for 115 yards on 20 carries. Terrance Foots rushed for 98 yards on 21 carries. LeKenneth Rackins had 32 yards on five carries.

On the defensive side of the ball Antwon Cannady led the Tigers in tackles with five. Leroy Ball had three tackles and one sack. Derrick Smith had three tackles and one sack.

After a very rocky start at the beginning of the season the Tigers exceeded a lot of expectations and finished their season in an unlikely place. Swainsboro will graduate several key players this year including Leon Williams, Leroy Ball, David Johnson, Demetrius Hill, J.J. Nobles, Antwon Cannady, and Dustin Way, to name a few. But they will also return several very talented athletes including Quarterback Johnnie Dixon, Neil David, Derrick Smith, Dwight Smith and Terrance Foots.

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