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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Charleston Juggernaut Blows Out Newport 48-6 to Advance to State Semifinals

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The stars were out in Charleston on Friday night, both on and off the field. Charleston alumni football players that included Eddy Carmona, who kicked at Charleston and later for the Las Vegas Raiders of the NFL and followed in the footsteps of Steve Cox who kicked for the Cleveland Browns and the Washington Redskins, and Ty Storey, former Gatorade High School All-American and quarterback for the Razorbacks and Western Kentucky, to name a few were in attendance. On the field, it was a talented Charleston Tigers team that completely shut down a very talented Newport offense, and, on offense, scored at will, taking a 42-0 lead at halftime.

And for the second straight week in the playoffs, the Tigers did not play their starters for the entire second half. The sportsmanship rule was in effect from the start of the second half, again, for the second consecutive game. As impressive as this all is, one thing that may have emerged over the past few weeks is the future of quarterback for Charleston. Junior Eli Huck has been impressive in mop-up duty the past two weeks. So, if you are a Tigers fan, these are pretty heady times in Charleston.

Charleston’s defense pitched an unofficial shutout again for the second consecutive week. I say that because the only score given up by the Tigers was against their reserve defense with eight minutes remaining in the game when Newport hit Isiah Kendall on a 45 yard touchdown reception. Prior to that play, Charleston had taken the impressive Kendall completely out of the game with a stifling Tigers defense.

The win over Newport advances Charleston to the state semifinals next week, just one game removed from playing in the state championship game in Little Rock on December 9. The Tigers, who have been home for the first three rounds of the playoffs, will travel to Rison next Friday night. Rison defeated Prescott tonight by the score of 34-29.

In other quarterfinals action, the Booneville Bearcats won a tough game on the east side of the state, defeating the Osceola Seminoles, 35-20. Booneville advances to next week’s semifinals to play the Melbourne Bearcatz who won a close 21-20 game over the Glen Rose Beavers.

So, the final four teams in Class 3A are set; Charleston, Booneville, Melbourne, and Rison will battle it out to be the next state champion. Any one of these teams are more than capable of winning the title, and most observers will say that the best four teams this year will be playing for the state championship. It is a great time of year, and fans are being treated to great high school football action.

RNN Sports will have a preview next week on the Charleston vs. Rison semifinal. And, we will be in Rison next week to again bring you all of the action of the Tigers’ march to the state championship game. Also, watch for photos from this game next week on Facebook at Best Photography.

Congratulations to coach Ricky May, his staff, and the Tigers for another awesome performance in the state playoffs. Enjoy your weekend, and we will see you in Rison a week from tonight!

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Jim Best
Jim Best is a man of many talents. His storied career in Arkansas education led him to a new passion, and hidden gifts in sports journalism.
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