Wortham had gone over the 1,000 yard rushing mark — over the 1,100 mark, actually — and finished with 138 yards rushing for the contest.
He was clearly Southeastern’s best player running the ball. They went, instead, at the Tigers’ best players, and the Savages lost.
Far be it for the Tigers to question the other team’s play selection. Their job was to put down any challenge Southeastern threw at them.
Southeastern was hardly without talent. Kaymon Farmer and Anthony Foster finished the season with over 1,000 yards, and he and Farmer both ended the year with at least 75 catches, another school record.
Quarterback Nick Sioson was 28 of 52 for 253 yards. A 44-yard touchdown play, Sionon to Foster in the first period put the Savages on top, 9-0.
Prior to this game, the Tigers had whipped up on some “have nots” and beaten a pretty fair Southwestern team in a close one. The best teams had their way with East Central, prompting Coach Tim McCarty to say, “We’ve discovered a problem that is going to be the emphasis of our off-season program.”
In addition to those four defended passes at crunch time, there was Lindsey Anderson returning a fumble 36 yards for a score at the 13:27 mark just after the half, and Bond picking up another TD on a one-yard keeper with 7:06 remaining to put the Storm in a 23-9 hole.
Caleb Holley, who turned into Spencer Bond’s most reliable receiver this season, set a school record for yards in a season, just missing the 1,000 yard mark with 970 yards. He had a 9-yard second quarter touchdown to help erase the Savages’ early 9-0 lead and 64 yards in receptions for the day.
Trevor Hunt’s 28-yard field goal tied it 9-9 before halftime.
When they’re hearing those two words, mental toughness, drilled into them in the off-season, they may be reminded of last week’s game.