From staff reports
IUKA - The Saltillo Tigers overcame first-half mistakes and a 15-point deficit to beat Tishomingo County 26-21 in a Region 1-4A game Friday night.
The win, the second straight for Saltillo, makes the Tigers 2-5 overall and 2-1 in the region. The Braves drop to 2-5 and 0-4.
Saltillo's Jamison Shells returned the game's opening kick 85 yards for a 6-0 Tigers lead.
But Tishomingo County scored the next three touchdowns.
Tyler Barnes' 5-yard run and the PAT put the Braves ahead 7-6. They made it 14-6 when John Werner ran in from 7 yards out, and when Josh Hellums scored from 86 yards away with 8 minutes, 38 seconds left in the first half, the Braves led 21-6.
But that was all the offense for the home team.
The Tigers knocked six points off the lead before halftime when freshman quarterback Charlie Williams passed 20 yards to Josh Coker. The conversion attempt failed, but the Tigers had the momentum.
"We drove it down before the end of the half and didn't score, and the kids knew if they quit making mistakes they could win the game," Saltillo coach Bill Rosenthal said.
Saltillo's Luke May picked off a Tishomingo County pass on the Braves' first possession of the third quarter. The Tigers quickly scored when Williams passed 32 yards to Shells, and Matt McKissack's 2-point conversion catch made it 21-20.
Saltillo took the lead later in the third when Williams and McKissack connected for a 52-yard touchdown. The conversion failed, but the Tigers had a 26-21 lead and all the points they needed.
Williams finished the night 14-for-28 for 230 yards and three touchdowns. Shells had three catches for 56 yards, and McKissak added three catches for 87 yards.
"Luke's interception was a big play, and we stuck it in the end zone right off the bat," Rosenthal said. "We're still playing hard, and this is really going to help our confidence level."
The Tigers take on Hernando in another region game next week.