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Garner ‘s 6 TDs power Stringer past W. Lincoln

West Lincoln’s large homecoming crowd was treated to anoffensive extravaganza Friday night on Perry Miller Field. Stringertailback Tipston Garner was the featured star, rushing for aschool-record 513 yards and 6 touchdowns as the Red Devils overranthe host Bears 63-36.

Garner, a 5-foot-7, 170-pound senior, scored on runs of 82, 8,95, 38, 27 and 51 yards. Stringer (4-4, 4-3) and West Lincoln (1-8,1-6) combined for over 1,000 yards offense. The Bears accounted for413 yards rushing on 56 carries and led 24-22 at halftime.

“Y’all gave me some of the biggest holes I’ve ever seen,” saidGarner as the Devils huddled near midfield after the game. Garnerruns a 4.4 in the 40-yard dash. He displayed quickness and balanceas he juked defenders and bounced off West Lincoln tacklers.

“I’ve been running for years,” said Garner. “I just run hard.I’m coming off an injury, a pulled groin muscle.”

West Lincoln showed much improvement on offense as the Bearsmarched 63 yards in 4 plays with the game-opening kickoff. AlanSkates rumbled the final 18 yards and tacked on the 2-pointconversion run for an 8-0 lead.

Stringer started at its 18-yard line after a fumble on thekickoff. On first down, Garner broke through the defensive line,cut back and sped 82 yards to paydirt. He was short of the goal onthe 2-point conversion run and the Bears still led 8-6.

The Bears came right back as Dorian Dunn scored on a 14-yardrun. Skates ran the PAT for a 16-6 lead.

After Garner scored on an 8-yard run, he added the conversion ona sweep around right end closing the gap to 16-14.

The Bears got a 27-yard TD scamper from quarterback Landon Case,increasing their lead to 22-14. Dorian Dunn tossed a halfback passto Weston Young and the Bears led 24-14.

Stringer quarterback Josh Anderson scored on a 11-yard keeperand ran the 2-point conversion, reducing the Bears’ lead to 24-22with 3:53 left in the first half.

West Lincoln coach Ron DuPree said Garner “was a good back butwe helped him look good. We didn’t do a good job tackling him.”

DuPree compared his team’s plight to a boxing match between amiddleweight and a heavyweight. “We won the first five rounds butwe lost the last five. We were doing well and playing hard but itwas self-destruction with our penalties and mistakes.”

Stringer scored twice in the third quarter to forge a 36-24 leadas Garner raced 95 and 38 yards for scores. Six TDs were scored inthe fourth quarter. A 61-yard dash by Garrett Smith and a a 4-yardrun by Skates accounted for West Lincoln’s scores in the finalframe.

Smith led the Bears with 8 rushes for 143 yards. Skates had 19carries for 123 yards.

“(Garner) had a good supporting cast tonight,” said Stringerfirst-year head coach John Guthrie. “I had six freshmen starting ondefense tonight due to injuries and suspensions. I was short fourstarters.”

Guthrie, who coached at Northeast Jones last year, said he wastrying to regain the winning tradition at Stringer. The Red Devilswon three straight state championships in the early 1990s.

“Give West Lincoln credit,” said Guthrie. “They fought us toothand nail. They played hard.”