Tigers run over Mustangs
Any lingering concerns over a drop in offensive production following the graduation of Mr. Football runner-up Ashton Posey was put to rest as five different Tigers scored in a 35-14 scrimmage win over Lipscomb on Tuesday night.
Fellow 4A opponent Lipscomb, finished 8-4 in 2015, and advanced to the second round of the TSSAA playoffs before falling to runner-up Pearl-Cohn by just 11 points and brought Oregon commitment Rutger Reitmaier to Lewisburg, but the Mustangs' defense could not contain the Tiger offense which scored on its first possession and never looked back.
"Our goal is to start fast on both sides of the ball and we did not accomplish that, but as the scrimmage went on I thought we settled in and did a lot of good things on both sides of the ball," MCHS coach Thomas Osteen noted. "I'm very proud that we did not have a lot of turnovers in the scrimmage which was a big improvement from the Fairview scrimmage."
The Tigers started out with a bang as first year starting sophomore quarterback Bryce Wallace connected with All-State wide receiver Jay Howard for a 55-yard scoring strike on the first series of the night to take an early lead.
"It was third and long and I got a screen," Howard remembered. "Tre (Crutcher) had a terrific block on the outside and I made a cut inside and Tre maintained his block. I went right off of his back and it was a foot race to the inside for 55 yards."
The next three scores would belong to the running backs as Cain McWilliams scored on a goal line run before D'Andre Brown weaved his way through the Mustang defense and scored on a 50 yard scamper to give the Tigers the decisive lead.
Junior running back Kamron Liggett may have turned in the play of the game on the last offensive series between the first team offense and defense when he caught a short screen pass, leaped over two Mustang tacklers and made several more miss en route to the end zone for a 70-yard touchdown before the back-ups took over.
After a shaky start, the defense was able to put a lid on any Lipscomb thoughts of a comeback as Tavi McLean and Josh Johnson were nearly impenetrable on the defensive line.
"How quickly we adjusted to the Wing-T offense (stood out about the defense)," senior defensive leader J.Q. Haislip said. "Mostly we need to work on communication and trusting each other."
The second team offense was able to end the contest on a high note as back-up quarterback Malik Thomison connected with Devon Wilson on a 30-yard touchdown pass for the last score of the night.
With the win over Lipscomb the Tigers are now 2-0 in the preseason including a 21-7 win over Fairview and will now prepare for the jamboree on August 12 against perennial powerhouse Christ Presbyterian Academy.