Tigers Surf Over Green Wave
As far as Caruthersville rivalries go, the Malden-Caruthersville game is a close second to the Caruthersville-Hayti game. Each year Caruthersville meets up with Malden in regular season and then again in district playoffs; where for the last several years Malden has kept Caruthersville from moving on in district play. Caruthersville is hoping for a different outcome this year. After last year’s 3 overtime loss in regular season, Caruthersville has been preparing for this year’s match up. That preparation paid of Friday night when the Caruthersville Tigers beat the Malden Green Wave by a score of 33-7.
The start of the game had both teams ready for an exciting night. Caruthersville elected to receive for the opening of the nights matchup. #6 Chris Smith took the kickoff to start the Tiger evening. Some short passes kept the ball moving and allowed the Tigers to march down the field in steady fashion. Even with steady movement, the Green Wave showed they came to play and eventually took over the ball on downs. With a long field ahead, Malden looked to start their march the other direction, but the Tigers had other plans sacking the Malden quarterback. Malden, not known as a soft team, got right back into the thick of it and moved the ball back up the field. Malden managed to get the ball near mid-field before giving it back to the Tigers on downs.
On their second possession, the Tigers made short work of the Green Wave defenses when a pass by Tiger quarterback #3 Charles Goliday, completed a pass to receiver #6 Chris Smith. Smith ran 42 yards for the Tiger’s first touchdown of the game. A bad snap on the 2-point conversion kept the Tigers from gaining additional points. Malden took the kick off back to the 30-yard line, but were unable to convert on downs and gave the ball back to Caruthersville on a short punt. The Tigers faced a Green Wave wall and had to return the favor by punting after only a small gain.
Again, the Green Wave tried to break through the Tiger defenses. The Tigers managed to sack the Malden quarterback again and then took the ball away from Malden on an interception. With the change of possession, the Tiger quarterback competed a pass to #6 Chris Smith for the second Tiger touchdown of the first quarter. The point after was good with 1:20 left in the quarter the Tigers led Malden 13-0.
The Tigers kicked-off to Malden. On the hand-off, the ball was fumbled and the Tigers recovered the ball. The Tigers again started marching towards the end zone. Right before the end of the quarter, the Tigers made a touchdown, but a technical foul caused it to be overturned and the Tigers were unable to complete the pass reception and regain the lost touchdown. The beginning of the second quarter found the Malden Green Wave with possession of the ball and their eye on the end zone. #70 Jermaine Hollywood made several tackles which kept the Malden running game from gaining ground. After several failed attempts to break the Tiger defenses, Malden managed to run around the Tiger defensive line for a touchdown. The point after was good. With 10:22 left in the first half, the score was 13-7 Tigers.
On the next Tiger possession, several receivers took passes for small gains, which kept the Tigers moving toward their end to the field. Malden kept the Tigers from gaining ground and managed to sack the Tiger QB causing the Tigers to punt. Malden again tried to make their way upfield against the Tiger defensive line. The combination of #77 Justice Burkhalter and #52 Amaud Bates kept the Green Wave stalled. The Malden QB again threw an interception. #22 GT Hays took the first of his 2 interceptions of the evening; this one near mid field. The Tigers almost managed to make the end zone, but the Green Wave defenders kept the Tiger defenses from achieving their goal. The Tigers turned the ball over on downs at the 17-yard line. After only a few plays, Malden had to return the ball to Caruthersville on a punt. Caruthersville with the ball on the 28-yard line and only 1:41 left in the half were unable to capitalize on the short field. Score at the end of the half Tigers over Malden 13-7.
The second half showed the two teams defensive nature. Neither team made much progress at the beginning of the third quarter. Malden received a deep kick-off to start the second half near the 35-yard line. Malden managed to get near mid-field, but the Tigers made a series of stops against Malden and drove them back nearly 10 yards. After the Malden punt, the Tigers struggled to make much headway on their first possession of the half. This allowed Malden to regain the ball near mid field after a Tiger punt. It looked to be a deadlock between two great defenses. Finally, after several back and forth punts by both teams, the Tiger QB, Charles Goliday, competed a pass to #6 Chris Smith for the Tigers first touchdown of the second half. The point after was wide leaving the Tigers with only a 19-7 lead over the Green Wave with 3:49 left in the third quarter
Malden received the kickoff, but was unable to make progress down the field and punted the ball back to Caruthersville. After a couple handoff attempts to receivers, quarterback #3 Charles Goliday kept the ball and ran for over 65 yards to make a second touchdown of the third quarter for the Tigers. The point after was good. With 1:48 left in the third, the Tigers lead Green Wave 26-7. After the kickoff, Malden returned the ball to near the 30-yard line. A pass attempt was intercepted by Tiger #22 GT Hays, who ran the ball almost to the end zone before a penalty called the ball back to near mid-field. After the penalty, the Tigers were unable to move the ball into the end zone and the quarter ended with the Tigers in possession, but not for long.
The beginning of the third quarter saw the Tigers make an attempt to pass for a potential touchdown. Malden had other plans as they picked off the Tiger QB for the only time in the game. The Tigers did not allow Malden to make progress towards the end zone and regained on downs after a Malden QB sack by Tiger #70 Jermaine Hollywood. Several short passes to Tiger revivers kept the ball again moving toward the end zone. After several first downs, Tigers running back #21 Deandre Davis took it in for the final Tiger touchdown of the game. The point after was good and the Tigers led 33-7 with just under 7 minutes left in the game. The Tigers kept Malden from making progress as the game continued in a back and forth exchange of turning the ball over on downs. As the minutes wound down, neither team made much forward progress. With 20 seconds left in the game, the Tigers went into victory formation and the game ended with the Caruthersville Tigers over the Malden Green Wave by a score of 33-7.
Coach Jackson, after the game said, “We have had some close games over the years (against Malden) and ended up coming short, but we pulled this one off. Proud of the boys, proud of the effort, proud of the comradery, guys just sticking together, fighting together and believing in us.” He also said, “I knew we had a good football team going in. I didn’t know how good, so I knew this would be a good test for us. The guys showed up and played some good ball.” On the matchup with Valle next week, Coach Jackson says, “Valle is like no other team we face. They do some really good things, very technical. We have some really good athletes. Excited about the challenge.”