As forecasted, it was a very cold night at Alumni Field in Charleston on Friday. But not as forecasted was the cold performance of the Centerpoint running game. The Knights committed critical errors and busts for explosive plays on defense that quickly spelled their doom against a hot Charleston Tigers team that looks more and more like they are poised to make a serious run for the 3A state championship. Centerpoint’s All-State and single season rushing record holding running back Jace Clark fumbled on the opening drive of the game, setting up a short field for Charleston. The Tigers scored quickly, and the rout was on.
Friday’s game got out of hand quickly with the Tigers amassing a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and an eventual 35-0 lead at the end of the first half. The “sportsmanship rule”, or continuous clock began at the start of the third quarter, and a grateful crowd who braved the cold weather was allowed to go home a little sooner to warm up. Charleston did not play any of their starters in the entire second half, but the reserves scored on an impressive drive to increase the final score to 42-0.
As a result of tonight’s victory, Charleston will advance to the quarterfinal round of the 3A state playoffs and will host the game next Friday, the day after Thanksgiving Day. The Tigers will welcome the Newport Greyhounds to Alumni Field which should be a great match-up with the winner advancing to the final four, or the semifinals of the state playoffs. Newport won at home tonight 52-22 over Quitman. So far in the playoffs, Newport has defeated Quitman and also Magnet Cove who the Greyhounds defeated in the first round by the score of 50-14. Kickoff on Friday, November 25 in Charleston is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Of the five teams from conference 3A-1 who began the playoffs two weeks ago, only the Booneville Bearcats and the Charleston Tigers remain alive. In other action, Greenland lost at Melbourne by the score of 61-51, and Booneville defeated the Buckaroos at Smackover by the score of 60-14.
Next week, the Booneville Bearcats will make yet another long trip in the playoffs, this time to Osceola to take on the Seminoles in the state quarterfinals.
RNN Sports will be back in’ Charleston next Friday to bring you exclusive coverage of the Tigers’ run in the playoffs when they take on Newport. Watch for photos from tonight’s game next week on Facebook at Best Photography.
Congratulations to the large crowds from both Charleston and Centerpoint who endured the bitterly cold weather to support their teams tonight. And congratulations to Tigers coach Ricky May and his team for another outstanding performance. The Tigers have given up just six points combined so far in the playoffs.
Have a great weekend and a very Happy Thanksgiving!