Third quarter keys Mount Tabor’s win over Reynolds

Third quarter keys Mount Tabor’s win over Reynolds
October 15
00:00 2015



The Mount Tabor-Reynolds JV football game was nip-and-tuck in the first half.

But by the end of the third quarter, the Spartans seized total control and cruised to 30-6 road win last Thursday (Oct. 8). For three-and-a-half quarters, the defense kept the Demons under wraps. Offensively, Mount Tabor (4-2, 2-1 Central Piedmont 4-A Conference) generated enough of a spark to win by a comfortable margin.

“This team always plays hard, but doesn’t always play smart,” said Coach Tieshaun Brown of Mount Tabor. “Defensively we are solid. But we’ve got to find ways to get more from our offense. If we can get that going, we’ll really have something.

“I give a lot of props to Reynolds. They’ve got a good defense and their passing game is legit.”

With the win. Mount Tabor is back on track and looks to continue its win streak when it plays host to undefeated West Forsyth tonight at 6. There’s no denying the excitement in Brown’s voice when he talks about the upcoming match-up.

“This (tonight’s) game is the reason why you coach,” said Brown. “I’m really looking forward to seeing how well we can play.”

For the Spartans and Demons, the third quarter proved to be pivotal. Mount Tabor, who led 8-0 at the end of the first half, scored a couple of quick touchdowns to settle the issue. At the 11:38 mark of the quarter, running back Zyquez McMillian side-stepped several defenders on a 73-yard touchdown run to put his team up 15-0.

The Spartans resorted to trickery to set up the next score. Matthew Powell picked up 24 yards on a fake field-goal attempt and four plays later, De’vante Legrande ran 17 yards off left tackle for a touchdown to give his team a 23-0 lead.

As expected, Mount Tabor controlled the tempo with its bruising ground game which featured Legrande and Rodnique Godwin. When the Demons defense keyed on the running backs, quarterback Thomas Brabham kept drives alive with his ability to scramble in key third-down situations.

The Spartans got a lift with Powell coming back to the JV after spending time on the varsity. “Matthew is a difference maker, so we’ll put him in a variety of different situations,” said Brown. “He’s a cornerback, but you’ll see a lot of him on special teams and as a slot receiver on offense.”

Reynolds (2-3, 1-1) played relatively well defensively in spite of logging heavy minutes. Raymond Wilson and Nick Imes delivered stellar performances as leading tacklers. In the secondary, Frank Hines and Jamoi Hodge had one interception apiece.

As things turned out, it wasn’t enough to turn the tide for RJR, which never got into full flow. For most of the night, untimely penalties put the offense in reverse, which resulted in multiple three-and-outs and poor field position.

Even with those negatives, the Demons still had a couple of scoring opportunities, but they failed to convert. If they could’ve scored, it would’ve changed the complexion of the contest. Instead, they were forced to play catch-up and they never made up lost ground.

“As usual, our defense played great,” said Coach Rod Dunlap of Reynolds. “They played their hearts out, but it was a case of them having to play 80 percent of the game. You can’t win ball games that way.

“Overall, we have to minimize our mistakes on both sides of the football. In order for us to win consistently, our offense has to cash in on those opportunities when they come our way.”

Reynolds scored its lone touchdown of the game with just under 5:25 left to play in the fourth quarter. Mista Goodloe connected with Rashon Bethea on a 16-yard scoring pass.

Mount Tabor closed out the scoring in the waning seconds of the game on Godwin’s one-yard touchdown run.

The opening half was dominated by strong defense. Neither team was able to find its rhythm. Mount Tabor’s offense did advance to the Reynolds’ 2-yard line, but Brabham fumbled at the goal line and the Demons recovered in the end zone to end that scoring threat.

Reynolds took over at its 20-yard line, but eventually gave up the game’s first touchdown when Mount Tabor’s Tavion Thomas intercepted a Goodloe pass and raced 28 yards for the score. Powell ran for the conversion and the Spartans went up 8-0.



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Craig Greenlee

Craig Greenlee

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