LMS Tigers whip West Wilson

Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Lewisburg's Tre Crutcher and Dartavious Lyttle drag down West Wilson's Spencer Welch for a nine-yard loss in the first quarter. Photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

On Thursday night, the Lewisburg Middle School Tigers (2-0) recorded their second straight lopsided victory when they defeated the West Wilson Wildcats 34-6 at home.

LMS appeared they might have their hands full early on, as the two teams battled to a scoreless tie in the first quarter.

The Tigers, however, broke the game open in the second quarter by scoring three touchdowns in the stanza to take a 22-0 lead into halftime before outscoring West Wilson 12-6 over the final two periods to roll to the 28- point victory.

Lewisburg quarterback Jay Howard stretches the ball across the goal line while scoring on a two-point conversion run in the second quarter against West Wilson.

Lewisburg had trouble putting together sustained drives against the Wildcat defense, but recorded four plays of 27 of more yards en route to finishing with 234 yards of total offense, which included 144 yards rushing on 22 carries.

Dual threat quarterback Jay Howard accounted for more than half of the Tigers' offensive output, as he rushed for 37 yards on six carries and completed 3-of-8 passes for 90 yards and a touchdown to go along with an interception.

D'Andre Brown also tallied 41 yards rushing on six carries and caught a 54-yard touchdown pass, while Caleb Fields hauled in two receptions for 36 yards and scored on a 32-yard run. Bennielle Hill toted the ball six times for 19 yards as well and Kamron Hightower-Liggett added a four-yard touchdown run.

"Our athleticism was the difference in the game. They had good pressure up the middle all night, but we were able to extend some plays with our speed," said LMS coach Jeff Morton. "After beating a solid team like West Wilson, this should give us some confidence when we take on Dickson County and David Lipscomb later in the season."

Lewisburg's defense, meanwhile, turned in a dominant performance, as they limited the Wildcats to just 99 yards of total offense, forced three West Wilson turnovers, and recorded 10 tackles behind the line of scrimmage.

Except for a handful of nice runs by tailback Mica Battle, the Wildcats (1-1) struggled to move the ball on the ground and mustered just 58 yards rushing on 29 carries. Battle paced West Wilson with 61 yards and touchdown on nine carries, while Nick Groff toted the pigskin 14 times for 19 yards.

Wildcat quarterback Dillon Cranford completed 5-of-10 passes for 41 yards, but tossed two interceptions.

Brown led the Tiger defense with seven tackles, while Tre Crutcher and Hightower-Liggett notched six and four tackles respectively. Daeveontae Brown, Ben Taylor, Bryan Westmoreland, and Quavion Harris also registered three tackles apiece with Brown returning a fumble 46 yards for a touchdown. Hill and Brett McGehee each recorded an interception for LMS as well.

LMS found their backs against the wall early on when West Wilson recovered a Tiger fumble at the Lewisburg 35 on the opening possession of the game before Battle and Reece Adkisson ripped off consecutive runs of eight and five yards to move the ball down to the 22.

After the Wildcats were flagged for a illegal motion penalty, the LMS defense bowed it's neck, as West Wilson lost 14 yards on their next three plays and were forced to punt.

Following a three and out by the Tigers, the Wildcats started their second offensive series at the Lewisburg 42, before Cranford hit Colton Reeder for a 17-yard gain to give West Wilson a first down at the 25.

The Wildcats, however, were unable to find the end zone once again and lost the ball on downs after picking up only eight yards on the next four plays.

LMS was forced to punt for a second straight possession, but Hill swung the momentum in the Tigers favor when he picked off a Cranford pass at midfield and returned it 28 yards down the left sideline to set up Lewisburg's offense at the West Wilson 22.

Hightower-Ligget then scored on a four-yard touchdown jaunt three plays later before Howard ran in the two-point conversion to stake LMS to an 8-0 lead with 4:39 left in the second quarter.

After the Tigers stopped the Wildcats on downs near midfield, Howard hit Brown for a 54-yard touchdown strike on 3rd and 15 prior to running in the two-point conversion to make it 16-0 with 1:56 left in the first half.

West Wilson advanced to the Lewisburg 38 on their ensuing possession thanks to catches of five and 15 yards by Christian Kaposey and Groff respectively, but disaster struck on the next snap for the Wildcats when Cranford fumbled the ball in the backfield before Brown scooped up the pigskin and raced 46 yards for a touchdown to give LMS a 22-0 advantage at the break.

LMS held West Wilson scoreless on their first two possessions of the second half before putting together a four-play, 58-yard touchdown drive to stretch their lead to 28-0 midway through the fourth quarter. Following a 33-yard scamper by Brown, Hill rumbled for a seven-yard gain. Brown then picked up two yards before Howard scored on a 16-yard touchdown jaunt on the next play.

West Wilson finally got on the board on their ensuing possession when Battle broke loose for a 37-yard touchdown run to trim the deficit to 28-6.

After recovering a Tiger fumble at their own 41, the Wildcats turned the ball over on downs before Fields raced 32 yards for a touchdown in the waning moments of the game to cap the Tigers 34-6 triumph.