The Metter Tigers defeated the Dublin Fighting Irish by a score of 18-0 this past Friday night and will be moving on to the quarter final round of the state playoffs.
Metter found themselves locked in a defensive battle as Class A’s number-four- and five- ranked defenses squared off. It was the Tiger defense that won out, pitching their sixth shutout of the season and second against The Irish. Metter beat Dublin for the second time this season after having only beat them twice in school history. Metter and Swainsboro are the only two teams in the state to have recorded six shutouts this season.
The Tiger offense was marred by costly penalties and fumbles, but they persevered and did what they had to do to win. The rushing attack was led this week by RJ Coney. Coney had 130 yards on 18 carries and scored a touchdown. Antwan Coney added 73 yards on 10 carries and also scored a touchdown. CJ Donaldson rushed for 52 yards on eight carries and found the end zone once.
The stingy Metter defense held Dublin to just 155 yards of total offense, 150 rushing and five passing. The defense was led by Ethan Oglesby. Oglesby had 15 tackles on the night including a tackle for loss and a sack. Trey Hall added 10 tackles. Jimmy Smart had six tackles with a tackle for loss. Brooks Longgrear chipped in with five tackles and a sack. TJ Spann also had five tackles.
Dublin won the coin toss and elected to defer to the second half which meant Metter would receive the opening kickoff. The kickoff went out of bounds so the Metter offense would take over at the 35-yard line. After a one-yard loss on the opening play of the game, Antwan Coney carried the ball twice, picking up 10 yards and bringing up a fourth and one. Metter lined up and tried to get Dublin to jump offside, but they didn’t budge. After a delay of game penalty, Metter would punt the ball away.
Trey Hall got off a very good punt that pinned Dublin deep in their own territory at the 12-yard line and the Irish would take over there. The Dublin offense got off to a quick start, picking up 14 yards and a first down on their first play of the game. They picked up five yards on play number two, but the Metter defense settled in and held them right there. Three plays later they would punt the ball right back to Metter.
Metter opened their second drive with a 15-yard run to pick up a first down, but the drive would be impeded by penalties. Facing third and three, Metter was flagged for back-to-back false start penalties and pushed back to third and 13. The Tigers could only pick up six yards on the next play and would again be forced to punt from midfield.
Trey Hall’s punt only traveled 13 yards, so Dublin was lucky to get away with great field position at the 37-yard line. The Tigers caught Jaquarius Evans in the backfield for a three-yard loss to quickly put Dublin behind the chains. An incomplete pass on second down made it third and 13. Quarterback Micah O’neal got loose on a draw play and picked up 16 yards to keep the drive alive, but three plays later Dublin would be forced to punt again.
Metter took over at their own 10-yard line following a great punt by Jaquarius Evans. RJ Coney was stopped for no gain on the first play, but Antwan Coney and Trey Hall picked up back-to-back first downs to get Metter away from their own goal line and out to the 37-yard line where the first quarter came to an end.
As the second quarter began, Metter had the ball and they were driving. They picked up another first down and got the ball out to midfield. Unfortunately, the drive would end there when Dublin recovered a fumble at their own 43-yard line.
The Fighting Irish were again beneficiaries of great field position, but the Tiger defense stopped them in their tracks. After picking up five yards on the first two plays of the drive, CJ Donaldson tackled Jaquarius Evans in the backfield for a five yard loss. Donaldson shot through the line so quickly, he hit Evans immediately after taking the hand-off. Facing fourth and 10, Dublin would punt the ball away.
Metter took over at the 35-yard line after a 16-yard punt return by Trey Hall and went right to work. RJ Coney started this drive with an 18-yard run to quickly get Metter out to midfield. Trey Hall and CJ Donaldson combined on the next two plays to pick up another first down and get the ball into Fighting Irish territory. Once again, a penalty and fumble on the next two plays ended the drive.
Following the fumble recovery, Dublin took over at their own 31-yard line. This drive for the Irish would meet a similar fate as Metter’s previous drive. Dublin picked up a first down and moved the ball out near midfield where they too fumbled the ball. Metter recovered the fumble and would take over at the 44-yard line.
The Tigers took over with their best field position of the night, and with time ticking off the clock quickly, were looking to cash in. They would do just that. Trey Hall and CJ Donaldson alternated on big runs, picking up three first downs en route to the end zone. CJ Donaldson put the first points on the board with a five-yard touchdown run with just 37 seconds remaining in the first half. Donaldson came in motion from the right side and took the hand-off up the middle. His offensive line had the play blocked perfectly and sprinted into the end zone untouched to put the Tigers in the lead. A bad snap on the extra point meant the Metter lead would only be 6-0, and that was the score going into the half.
Dublin would receive the second half kickoff and following a short return, took over at the 34-yard line. They opened the drive with two big runs and two first downs and quickly in Tiger territory at the 28-yard line. The Metter defense dug in there and forced a huge turnover on downs. Facing fourth and seven Micah O’neal dropped back to pass and the Tiger defense came up with a huge sack to give the ball back to their offense.
The Metter offense took over at their own 34-yard line following the turnover on downs. The Tigers continued to build off the momentum they had going into halftime, and despite three penalties, put together a ten play, 66-yard scoring drive.
Antwan Coney started things off with runs of 14 and four yards to get the ball just into Dublin territory. A 15-yard penalty against Metter brought the ball back into Tiger territory. Antwan caught a 25-yard pass from Trey Hall to get Metter back into Irish territory and down to the 30-yard line. Two more penalties moved the Tigers back near midfield once again. Facing third and 22 Trey Hall completed a 27-yard pass to pick up the first down and move his team inside the red zone.
Despite the penalties threatening the drive, the Tiger offense pressed on and found the end zone. This time it was RJ Coney from ten yards out. Coney took the hand-off around the right side and was hit almost immediately. He did not go down. He ran through two Dublin defenders but was again wrapped up at the five-yard line. RJ churned his legs and dragged three Irish defenders with him across the goal line. The two-point conversion try failed, but with the 12-0 lead, Tiger fans could sit back in their seats and take a breath for the first time all night.
The Metter defense forced Dublin three and out on their next possession after holding them to zero yards on the short drive. The punt only traveled five yards so as the game moved into the fourth quarter, Metter had the ball and great field position.
The Tigers had the ball at the Dublin 44-yard line following the short punt and they met little resistance on the way to the orange grass. RJ Coney had three big runs in a row, picking up two first downs and moving the ball inside the red zone to the 18. Antwan Coney capped off the drive with an 18-yard touchdown run from there. The two-point conversion was no good once again, but the Tigers took an 18-0 lead, and the Irish looked as if they were beginning to lose their will to fight.
Dublin took over at the 37-yard line following the ensuing kickoff and they had to score if they were going to make any sort of a comeback. Their offense responded with their best drive of the night. Demari Foster put the team on his back and ran the ball hard on run after run. He picked up three first downs and willed the ball deep into Tiger territory, reaching the red zone for the first time all game.
The 19-yard line would be as deep as the Irish would get. The Metter defense pushed them backwards from there and facing fourth and 11, Dublin had no choice but to go for it. Micah O’neal dropped back to pass, but he would never get a throw off. Ethan Oglesby sacked him for an 11-yard loss and forced a turnover on downs.
Metter’s next drive came to an abrupt end. On just the third play, another fumble gave the ball right back to Dublin at the 36-yard line. By this point in the game it was clear that Metter was the better team and victory was imminent. Dublin sent out one of their young backs to run the ball and let the clock run down. Metter stopped the Irish on four straight plays to force another turnover on downs.
When Metter took over at the 28-yard line they needed just a couple of first downs to run the clock out. RJ Coney and Christian Washington picked up first downs on the first two runs of the drive. CJ Donaldson and Washington combined for another first down, and the only thing Metter had to do after that was kneel down and let the clock expire. When the final horn sounded, Metter was on top 18-0.
After the game we caught up with Tiger head coach Rodney Garvin to get his thoughts on the win. “I am absolutely thrilled with us getting to the quarterfinals for the fourth consecutive season,” he said. “Metter shut out and defeated Dublin for the second time this season. Dublin hasn’t been shut out since 2013, and we have done it twice in two months. Outstanding job defensively. Trey Hall put on an absolute show offensively. Our kids showed tremendous pride in how well they played.”
The Tigers will be on the road for the quarterfinal round of the playoffs, traveling to Bogart, Georgia, to take on the number one ranked Prince Avenue Christian Wolverines.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.