14 First Downs 8
310 Rushing Yards 9
1/4 Passing 8/18
10 Passing Yards 111
320 Total Offense 120
206 Return Yards 48
1/41 Punts/Yards 4/120
12/110 Penalties/Yards 3/15
0 Interceptions 2
7/2 Fumbles/Lost 2/0
The Metter Tigers improved to 3-0 on the season with a 35-7 win this past Friday night over the visiting Savannah Country Day Hornets. It was the first home game of the season for the Tigers, and Metter came into the contest ranked number two in the state in single A football.
It certainly was not the prettiest game the Tigers have played this season. The ball was fumbled seven times, two of which were lost, and the Tigers were flagged for 12 penalties resulting in the 110 penalty yards. Yet even with the self inflicted wounds, Metter still dominated their opponent.
The Tiger offense amassed 320 total yards; 310 of those yards were on the ground. The rushing attack was led by Reco Coney who had 111 yards and a touchdown.
The Tigers tacked on 206 return yards as well. Jerrail Lawrence returned the opening kickoff 95 yards before it was called back on a block-in-the-back penalty. Danny Cheley had a 68-yard kickoff return and scored on a 48-yard interception return in the third quarter.
The Metter defense continued their dominant play also. The Tigers only allowed a total of 111 yards on the night and only allowed nine yards of rushing. The defense stopped the Hornets for several big losses and intercepted two passes.
The defense was led by CJ Donaldson with six tackles and two sacks. Ethan Oglesby had four tackles and an interception, and Jabarie Simmons tacked on a sack of his own.
The Tigers first possession was a quick three and out and Devin Smith had to punt the ball away for Metter. It would be the only punt on the night.
Smith got off a good 41-yard punt to pin Savannah Country Day back at their own 16. A pass interference penalty on Metter coupled with a 14-yard completion got the Hornets out of trouble and up near midfield, but Berry Kleinpeter’s third pass attempt was picked off by Ethan Oglesby at the 50-yard line. He returned it five yards to give the Tiger offense the ball right back at the 45.
This drive looked more like the offensive attack Tiger fans have become accustomed to. Aaron Collins carried the load, and Metter marched the ball down inside the ten yard line. On fourth and four, quarterback Taj Hobbs bobbled the snap. Hobbs didn’t panic; he scooped up the loose ball, rolled out to his right and connected on a ten-yard touchdown pass to Devin Smith. Smith dropped to his knees and hauled in the pass as he slid down.
Freshman Fidel Esquivel came on to attempt the extra point, but the kick was no good. With 2:36 to go in the first quarter, Metter had a 6-0 lead.
The Tigers fought through a rough second quarter to find the end zone again. Kaliq Jordan and Reco Coney ripped off back-to-back big run plays, 25 and 35 yards respectively, to set the Tigers up with a first and ten from the Hornets 12 yard line.
Sophomore Trey Hall was in the game at quarterback, and again the snap was bobbled. Hall picked up the ball and ran it around the right side. He was met at the goal line by a Savannah Country Day defender, but he leapt through the air, over the defender, and came down in the end zone.
Hall stayed in at quarterback and hooked up with Cole McCranie, who made a great catch at the back of the end zone for the two-point conversion. That would give Metter a 14-0 lead, and they would take that lead into the half.
The Metter coaching staff did a great job at halftime re-focusing the team and making adjustments. In the second half the Tigers only suffered two penalties and one fumble, and they lit up the scoreboard, scoring three times in the third quarter.
The scoring was kicked off by a big interception return by Danny Cheley. On just the second play of the third quarter, Barry Kleinpeter’s pass sailed over the head of his intended target and fell into the arms of Cheley.
Cheley returned the ball to the near sideline and patiently followed a wall of Tiger blockers into the end zone. The extra point was no good, but Metter pushed the lead out to 20-0.
The Tigers would find the end zone two more times on two big runs, the first by Reco Coney. Coney took the hand-off around the right side. He got to the second level, cut back left, making a defender miss, and went untouched 35 yards for the touchdown.
Josh Kelly would put the final points on the board for the Tigers with a 40-yard touchdown run. He took the hand-off straight up the gut, shook off a tackler at the 25 and scampered across the goal line to give Metter a 35-0 lead going into the fourth quarter.
With the comfortable lead, Coach Rodney Garvin got some younger guys into the game to gain valuable playing experience.
The Hornets took advantage and found the end zone with 10:08 remaining in the game. The touchdown was the first surrendered all season by the Metter Tiger defense.
With the score at 35-7, both teams were content to let the clock run, so the final score would be Metter 35, Savannah Country Day 7.
Coach Garvin made no bones about the teams’ first-half performance: “It was truly a game of two halves. We played as sloppy a first half of offensive football as I have ever seen. Our kids took our halftime message and improved drastically in the second half. Once we really focused in, we played pretty dang well.
“I thought we controlled the line of scrimmage all night on offense, but we stopped ourselves. Defensively we played really well for the third straight game. We were aggressive and tackled really well.
“We play Portal at home on Thursday night. [It’s the] first region game, so it is huge!”
Kickoff is set for 7:30.
Score by Quarter
MHS 36:40Reco Coney
MHS Kick Off Returns
SCD Kick Off Returns
MHS Punt Returns
SCD Punt Returns