GERALDINE — Lauderdale County’s powerful ground game proved too much for Geraldine on Friday night as the Tigers cruised to a 33-10 victory in the second round of the Class 3A playoffs.
Quarterback Samuel Grisham ran for 222 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries and Terrell Fuqua added 87 rushing yards and three scores to lead the Tigers into the third round.
Lauderdale County (11-1) will host Deshler next Friday in the quarterfinals.
“We’re proud to still be playing,” LCHS coach Bob Grisham said. “Our kids played really well tonight. We were able to grind it out running the ball and we were also able to throw it when we needed to. Geraldine is a tough team.”
Geraldine marched the opening kickoff 66 yards in nine plays. The key play on the drive was a 40-yard run by Devan Totherow to the Tigers’ 10. However, a fumble, covered by the Bulldogs, forced a third-and-long which Geraldine could not convert. It settled for a 33-yard field goal by Eduardo Gutierza to make it 3-0.
Lauderdale County immediately responded. The Tigers went on a seven play, 70-yard drive to take the lead. Fuqua scored on a 41-yard dash with 4:17 left in the opening period. Stephen Mair’s kick made it 7-3.
In the second quarter, Lauderdale County extended the lead. Tyler Smith blocked a Bulldog punt, and the Tigers covered it at the Geraldine 9. On the next play, Grisham ran it in for the second touchdown and Lauderdale County led 13-3 with 10:10 to go until halftime.
The Bulldogs had a couple of chances later in the quarter but could not convert. Geraldine fumbled the ball on the Tigers’ 30 to end one drive.
On the first play of the third quarter, Grisham ran 62 yards to the Geraldine 18. Two plays later, Fuqua scored on a 15-yard run to push the lead to 20-3.
Later in the quarter, Fuqua scored on a 5-yard plunge to extend it to 26-3. The PAT was no good.
Grisham capped off the scoring for Lauderdale County with an 80-yard run with 50 seconds remaining.
Davis scored Geraldine’s lone touchdown on a 2-yard run with five seconds to play.
The Tigers now face a rematch against Deshler. LCHS defeated Deshler 35-21 in Week 3.
“I don’t really like playing a team twice, but it will make it interesting,” Grisham said. “Deshler has improved a lot since then, and we have, too. It should be fun.”