Moore Haven Terriers fall to Shiloh Christian

ORLANDO – On Aug. 30 as everyone in South Florida was waiting to see which direction Hurricane Dorian would turn, the Moore Haven Terriers were making the 150-mile journey to Orlando to face the Shiloh Christian Saints.

The Saints had an even longer journey for the game, coming all the way from their school in Springdale, Ark., to face the Terriers.

Moore Haven would go on to fall to the Saints 41-6, but that final score doesn’t quite tell the full story of the game.

The Terriers actually moved the ball well against the Saints’ defense. Moore Haven senior quarterback L.J. Sampson connected with his wide receivers multiple times throughout the game for big gains. Early in the first quarter Sampson hit fellow senior Javon Jones for a 35-yard long bomb to set up the Moore Haven offense on the Saints side of the field.

But after that long play, the Terrier offense stalled out and couldn’t get into the end zone.

It’s a script that played out for almost the entire game. Moore Haven was able to get huge chunks of yardage, but just couldn’t get that final push that would let them put points on the board.

Part of that difficulty scoring was because the Saint defense would tighten things up in the red zone. But Moore Haven didn’t make it easy on themselves, either. The Terriers had too many negative plays and drew too many flags in the game. You might be able to get away with that against a lesser team, but the Saints are a talented squad and took advantage of every opportunity Moore Haven gave them.

The Terrier defense kept the team in the game for most of the first half. Though the referees took away a key play from the Moore Haven defense in the first quarter.

Shiloh Christian was up 6-0 on the Terriers and were knocking on the end zone again with their offense set up on the Moore Haven 10-yard line. The Saints quarterback faked a hand off and rolled out right to throw the ball, but Moore Haven senior Kelton Hallback made a great read and immediately put pressure on the quarterback, causing him to throw the ball early. Due to the pressure the ball was thrown short and intercepted at the goal line by sophomore Dante Robinson.

But that momentum-changing play was taken away after a flag was thrown on a phantom horse-collar tackle by the Terriers that gave the Saints the ball right back.
On the next play Shiloh Christian punched the ball in for a touchdown and after a successful two-point conversion the Saints were up 14-0.

That score would hold up until halftime, but in the second half the Saints put up four touchdowns, with three of them coming on big yardage plays.

Moore Haven finally got on the board in the fourth quarter with a 49-yard touchdown run from junior Nate Crawford.

The Terriers will have an extra week to fix the mistakes that held them back in the Saints’ game, however.

Moore Haven’s game this week against the Okeechobee Brahmans on Sept. 6 has been postponed to Sept. 20, meaning the next team on the schedule for the Terriers is their old rival, the Glades Day Gators.

The Terriers host the Gators this year in Moore Haven after defeating them last year in Belle Glade. In fact, the Terriers have beaten the Gators three times in the past two years, including once in the playoffs.

The Gators and Terriers will face off at 7 p.m. on Sept. 13 in Moore Haven.

Richard Marion is a staff writer and photographer at Lake Okeechobee News and can be reached at rmarion@newszap.com.

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