UNION — The Sims Middle School Tigers 8th Grade Football Team snapped a ten-game losing streak by defeating Florence Chapel in a back and forth, hard fought, emotional game on Thursday night according to Sims Assistant Football Coach Andrew Ormand.
Ormand, in a statement released Friday afternoon, said that on the opening drive of Thursday’s game, Tigers Running Back Dorien Henderson took it to the house for 54 yards, but a penalty forced the Tigers to punt. After a scoreless drive for Florence Chapel, Sims took over as Tanner Hardin reached the end zone on a quarterback keeper for 5 yards and the Tigers went up 6-0 after a failed 2-point conversion. In the 2nd quarter, Sims marched down to the 1-yard line, but penalties and eventual fumble prevented the Tigers from reaching the end zone and another defensive stop kept both teams scoreless in the 2nd quarter heading into halftime.
In the 2nd half, Florence Chapel finally reached the end zone midway through the 3rd quarter, tying the game at six. On the ensuing possession, the Tigers regained the lead on a 56-yard touchdown pass from Tanner Hardin to Keyshon Harding. Florence Chapel scored yet again in the third off of a 20-yard touchdown pass and converted on a two-point conversion, getting their first lead of the night 14-12 heading into the 4th quarter.
The Tigers regained the lead on a Hardin-Harding connection for 75 yards early in the 4th and Tay Parham converted on a two-point conversion reception from Hardin to make the score 20-14. Florence Chapel answered again on a 3-yard run to tie the game at 20, then took the lead on a 2-point conversion making the score 22-20, Florence Chapel with 5:07 to go in the game. Tanner Hardin threw his third touchdown pass of the game this time to Keishawn Gibson for 10 yards with a little over two-minutes to go in the game on the fifth lead change of the night.
Once again, Florence Chapel marched into the red zone yet again, but the Tigers Defensive Leader Torrence Jeter stuffed two rushing plays in the backfield with 2.6 seconds remaining. Chaos ensued as Florence Chapel quickly snapped the football and flags were all over the field. The referee called off setting penalties as the ball sat inside the 10-yard line on an untimed down with no time on the clock. Florence Chapel caught the ball and a host of Tigers, led by James Jeter and Jamison Gregory brought down the Cougar receiver as the 8th grade team picked up their first middle school win, 26-22.
In total, Tanner Hardin went 10-22 for 326 yards, 3 touchdowns in the air, and a rushing touchdown. Keyshon Harding had 3 receptions for 151 yards, and 2 touchdowns, while Keishawn Gibson recorded 6 catches for 167 yards and the go ahead touchdown. Defensively, Torrence Jeter had 3 tackles for loss, Tay Parham had 2 huge pass breakups, and Gibson had an interception.
The Tigers (1-2) will travel to McCracken on Thursday, October 3 at 5 p.m., while the Sims 7th grade will try to pick up their first win of the year at home against McCracken on Wednesday at 5 p.m.
This story courtesy of Sims Middle School Assistant Football Coach Andrew Ormand.