Tiger defense preserves win for TRM

Published 11:59 am Monday, October 13, 2008

By By Tracy Jones – Sports Writer
T.R. Miller came back for the third time this season in the fourth quarter to earn a 14-13 win over Luverne Friday night at Glen Daniels Stadium in Luverne.
Miller, with 3:11 left in the game, scored to make the score 14-13. This put Miller on top for the first time in the night.
On the ensuing kickoff, Luverne's Ryan McGhee returned the ball to Miller's 11-yard line. Miller's defense held firm against the Luverne team, remaining undefeated for the season.
The No. 1 Tigers improved to 7-0, with Luverne dropping to 6-1.
Miller and Luverne went back and forth through the beginning of the first quarter, with neither team able to gain traction.
Luverne's Desmond Harrell intercepted the ball on the 50-yard line to start the drive toward the goal line. Quarterback Chad Free began a series of rushing plays to edge the ball down field. Justin Ray from the 6-yard line drew first blood for Luverne, running it in for the touchdown. Luverne made good of the kick going ahead 7-0 with three minutes left in the first quarter.
Luverne quickly recovered a Miller fumble on Miller's 38-yard line. Chad Free faked and scrambled trying to gain ground against Miller. Malcolm McMillan chased Freed into the backfield for a loss of 15 yards. Then on a handoff to Luverne's Evan Richardson Miller defender Johntae Brown knocked the ball loose and recovered the fumble to end the first quarter.
Miller was thwarted in attempt to bring the ball downfield. Luverne received the punt on the 31-yard line returning it to the 41. Free scrambled and drove the ball down the field in a series of plays to set up a 29-yard touchdown for Ryan McGhee. The extra point failed, Luverne now led 13-0 with 5:45 in the first half.
Luverne took over on Miller's 29 after a fumble, but Miller denied Luverne any gain. After Terez Lane knocked down a pass, Kenneth Fountain stopped McGhee allowing Miller to take back the ball on the 37-yard line. Wil Riggs threw to Terez Lane in two passes for a gain of 32 yards.
Penalties plagued Miller on this drive toward the goal line and they were unable to score, Luverne ended the half with a 13-0 lead.
Miller players took that to heart with their first possession of the second half. Fountain started them with a 5-yard rush to the 31-yard line. Two plays later Cortez Banks energized the Miller team with a 45-yard run down the right side.
Matt Lane gained 18 yards on two plays. That was then followed by Banks, who danced nine yards down to the end zone. The extra point was good.
The score put Miller on the board and cut the lead to 13-7.
On Luverne's next series, Free blasted down the field to gain 43 yards in six plays. Miller's defensive line stood strong against and took over the ball on the 30-yard line to end the third quarter.
Luverne and Miller seesawed at the beginning of the fourth quarter with neither team gaining.
Miller took the ball on the 20-yard line after a touchback reception by Terez Lane.
Riggs scrambled for five yards then Banks gained seven.
Matt Lane took a hand off from Riggs, broke two tackles and went all the way for a 69- yard touchdown run to tie the game. Nick Dorso kicked the extra point to put Miller ahead with 3:11 left in the game.
Luverne's McGhee threatened to score with a kickoff return to the 11-yard line. After the return, Miller's defense held strong and gave the ball back to the offense.
Miller took possession of the ball on the 18-yard line with 1:57 left in the game. Matt Lane gained for 14 yards and Miller just ran out the clock for the win.
It was the third fourth quarter comeback at an away game during the comeback season for the Tigers.
T.R. Miller held Luverne to 248 total offensive yards. Free rushed for 155 yards, setting up the two Luverne touchdowns.
T.R. Miller will now come home for the first time in three weeks and face Straughn next week in their homecoming game. Straughn is undefeated at 7-0 and is 5-0 in region play.