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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Charleston Stuns the Pirates at Cedarville, 27-18

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After a thrilling victory in their first home game of the season last week over Greenland, the Charleston Tigers traveled to Cedarville (4-1, 1-1) to play a critical conference game with the Pirates. Charleston (2-3, 2-0), behind a potent rushing attack led by Breckon Ketter, defeated the Cedarville Pirates 27-18. The Tigers, ranked 20th in 3A by Max Preps, pulled the mild road upset over the 12th ranked Pirates. The conference win moves Charleston into a share of the conference lead with Booneville.

The Tigers are continuing to get stronger with the return of players who were injured earlier in the year. Last night, one of those players, Garrett Rudd, returned to play against the Pirates. Rudd had two interceptions on the night, including a critical late second quarter interception. Charleston escaped another week without injury or loss of personnel for the next week. Coach May also indicated that he hopes to have yet another player available next week for the game against Mansfield.

The Cedarville offense was as good as advertised. Charleston coach Ricky May commented, “We struggled early on stopping their rushing attack. Both of their running backs did well, more so in the first half. We made some adjustments in the second half on defense and had a little more success against their rushers.”

Coach May mentioned several players and coaches who contributed big in the Tigers win. “Slade Skeets played big. He told me before the game to put me in wherever I needed him, so, we did. We played him around in several positions. Devin Donberger played lights out, getting good penetration in their backfield. Coach May credited assistant coach Tyler Reese with the call for an onside kick that, although Charleston was unable to capitalize with a score, was able to maintain possession of the football and run critical time off the clock. Offense coordinator Matt Stewart was praised by May for his play calling throughout the game.

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Charleston Tiger head coach, Ricky May looks over and encourages the defense.

Tigers quarterback Brayden Ross completed 12 of 20 pass attempts for 160 yards. Charleston receiver Kaleb Hamby led the Tigers in receptions with 4 receptions for 84 yards.

Charleston’s rushing attack was led by Breckon Ketter. Ketter rushed for 97 yards on 18 carries, including a 42 yard touchdown run. Quarterback Brayden Ross rushed for an additional 42 yards on 9 carries.

On defense, junior Slade Skeets had two sacks for the Charleston defense. Geoff Scott led the defense with 4 solo tackles and 2 assists. The defense produced 3 interceptions by Garrett Rudd who had two and Dalton Curtis who had one.

The Charleston win sets up a showdown match with the Mansfield Tigers this Friday in Charleston. Mansfield was upset at Greenland last night and gave the Red Tigers their first loss on the season, as well as their first loss in conference play. Both Charleston and Mansfield will have a lot at stake in conference play when they take the field. We will preview this critical 3A-1 conference match-up tomorrow in Resident Press.

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Charleston’s #5, Brayden Ross maneuvers through a field of Pirates on his way down the field.

A lot of things have changed since that first brutal month of the Charleston football schedule. The Tigers now find themselves in a tie for first place in the conference with the opportunity to play some critical remaining conference games at home. The weather is changing, and so are the fortunes of the Charleston football team. Friday night should be another great conference match-up in Charleston. You will want to get there early for this one. The Mansfield fan base travels well and should fill the visitors side of Alumni Field. It should be a classic; a battle of two great teams. Fall is in the air, and so will be a lot of footballs as Charleston will face the potent Mansfield passing attack.

Look to Resident Press tomorrow for our preview of this great match-up.

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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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