Shreve beats weather delay, Tioga in wild win


BALL – After a two-hour weather delay, Captain Shreve got out to a comfortable first-half lead and then had to hold off a Tioga second-half surge to get a 36-27 win in the first round of the LHSAA Select Division I playoffs on the road Friday night.

A lightning storm had the Gators and Indians in a holding pattern, but when the game finally kicked off at 8:55 p.m. the Gators got on the board early and led 16-0 at the beginning of the second quarter before the Indians could score.

Tioga (7-4, seeded 16th) staged a rally and closed within 30-27 in the fourth quarter before the Gators (6-5, seeded 17th) clamped down.

“Playoff wins are hard to come by and I am proud of our guys and it’s just going to get tougher,” said winning coach Adam Kirby. “We talk about it all the time — control what you can control. We couldn’t control the delay and we couldn’t control the weather.”

Shreve led 24-14 at halftime on a pair of Kenyon Terrell scoring passes, one to Jordan Wiggins of 11 yards and the other a 55-yard pass to Marquez Stevenson in the flat that the speedster took down the sideline to the end zone.

Jamarlon Otis started the visitors’ scoring with a 1-yard run and John Chance kicked a 29-yard field for a 10-0 Shreve lead after the first quarter.

Terrell scored on a short run to give the Gators a 30-14 advantage in the third quarter. Tioga battled back and pulled within 30-27 early in the fourth quarter.

Terrell got his second touchdown run of the second half on a 2-yard burst with just under seven minutes left for a 36-27 advantage.

Tioga again got into the red zone, but the Gators blocked a field goal attempt with 1:43 left in the game to put away the win.

“It is what it is. I thought our kids battled from the jump,” said Kirby. “We came out and responded well. Every time they answered we came back and answered. We earned this victory. It got out of hand there for a while but we earned every inch of this victory.

“Anytime you score 36 points in a playoff game you are doing something right, so hats off to coach (John) Mitchell who put in a a good offensive game plan.”

Shreve will travel to New Orleans to face No. 1 ranked Warren Easton in the second round.

“That’s fine. Our motto all year has been ‘fast, physical and fearless,’” said Kirby. “We don’t care who you are. We’ll play you in the parking lot, we’ll play in New Orleans, we’ll play at Lee Hedges, we’ll play in Alexandria, doesn’t matter to us — just give us a chance to play and we’ll give you our best shot. We don’t back down from anybody.”