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Claxton blanked by Savannah Country Day
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    CLAXTON — As the high school football season winds its way down, the Claxton Tigers are desperately searching for a path to the postseason. With the Hornets of Savannah Country Day in town on Friday night, Claxton looked to make its playoff hopes a little brighter.
    Unfortunately for the Tigers however, the swarming Hornets and the falling rain conspired to wash Claxton away, 33-0.
    With both teams pressing for a win to improve their standing in Region 3 A, the two opponents were slow out of the gate. The entire first quarter consisited of the Tigers and Hornets sizing each other up. Neither team could get going though, as both struggled to move the ball in a steady first half rain.
    After Country Day had squandered its first sustained drive, fumbling on the Claxton 1 yard line, the Hornets finally found their sea legs. Midway through the second quarter, running back Drew Johnson found the corner, scampering 31 yards for the first points of the game.
    After a quick three-and-out by Claxton, which would prove to be a trend for the Tigers on this night, Savannah Country Day was again able to capitalize. This time it was Hornet quarterback, Craig Novak, who found a seam in the Claxton defense and raced 11 yards into the end zone. The Tigers blocked the ensuing extra point, but had dug themselves a 13-0 halftime deficit.
    Claxton head coach, Allen Cartwright, credited the Hornets' stingy defense for the Tigers' inability to get back into the game.
    "It was really tough tonight. I saw a lot of things that I liked on defense, Cartwright said. "I really think that they've improved througout the year. Offensively though, we just couldn't move the ball, and when you leave your defense out on the field that long, breakdowns are going to happen."
    As the second half began, the rain had slowed to a drizzle, but the Hornet offense was still coming down in buckets. On their first offensive play of the half, Drew Johnson burst through the line and outran the Claxton secondary 63 yards to pay dirt.
    When the Country Day defense took the field, they saw to it that the Tigers would not be mounting any comebacks. Claxton's biggest offensive threat, running back Delvin Diggs, was held to just 25 yards on 23 carries, marking the first time this year that he has been held under the century mark in rushing yards. The rest of the Tiger offense didn't fare any better, accounting for just 52 total yards as a unit. The Claxton attack converted only 1 of 11 third down opportunities and gained only two first downs on the night.
    All doubt was put away on the final play of the third quarter as Johnson went in untouched from 23 yards out for his third score of the night. The Tigers' offense could fare no better in the fourth quarter, and one final touchdown by the Hornets brought the scoring to an end.
    "This is a tough one, but we still have to look forward to next week. If some things turn out, we could still be playing for the last spot in the region next Friday. We've still got a lot to play for, even if it's just pride."
    The loss, though detrimental to their playoff chances, does not eliminate the Tigers from postseason contention. Claxton's showdown next Friday with Bryan County will likely decide the fourth and final playoff spot in the region and give the winner a chance to play on for another day.