SOUTH POINT SURVIVES A SCARE BY HOMECOMING HUSKIES
By: Anthony Perkins
Gastonia – Hunter Huss stormed back from a 14 point half time deficit to take a 21-14 third quarter lead before finally falling to South Point in overtime. South Point quarterback Jaquan Brooks scored on a 3 yard run to cap off the opening drive of the game and it looked like it would be business as usual for the Red Raiders. Diontrea King added to the South Point lead on an eight yard run just after the second quarter started and they would take that 14-0 lead into the half. The Huskies also had two scoring opportunities in the second quarter that came up short. With just under three minutes left in the half, a Husky drive stalled at the South Point 21. After the Red Raiders went three and out the Huskies got the ball and drove to the South Point 4 yard line but a fourth down pass to a receiver that was out of bounds ended the drive just before the half ended.
The Huskies took the second half kickoff and after a 65 yard return by Kerrion Moore the Huskies were in business again at the South Point ten. Once again the Red Raider defense rose to the occasion and kept the Huskies out the end-zone when they stopped a scrambling Andrew Jordan at the two yard line.
Following that stellar defensive performance the wheels came off of the South Point offense when they suffered back-to-back-to-back turnovers. The first turnover came on a Brooks fumble at the 29 yard line that Huskie defender Kerrion Moore picked up and returned to the South Point nine. On the next play Moore carried it in to cut the lead to 14-7.
Following the kickoff, Brooks was picked off by Huss linebacker Dotay Brown to give the Huskies possession at the South Point 28. On third down, Huskie quarterback Andrew Jordan went down after he was sandwiched by two Red Raider defenders when he was sacked on a pass attempt. Jordan was taken to the hospital for medical treatment and his replacement Xavier Thomas came in and calmly tossed a 31 yard strike to Ryan Ford just before he crossed the goal line to tie the game at 14-14.
Following the next kickoff the Red Raiders would run only two plays before King laid the ball on the ground which the Huskies recovered at the South Point 25. Moore gave Hunter Huss their first lead on a fourth down run from one yard out, a lead that they would keep going into the fourth quarter.
One minute into the final quarter, a punt by Huskies kicker Seth Jones pinned South Point at their own 11 yard line but it took only three plays for the Red Raiders to cover the 89 yards to the end-zone. A six yard run by Bray, a 39 yard run by Brooks and a 44 yard burst by Bray knotted the game at 21. The Red Raider defense forced a Huskie punt on their next possession and the offense appeared to have the game won when they used most of the rest of regulation time before lining up for a 25 yard field goal. It was time for the Huss defense to shine and they did when the kick was partially blocked to send the game into overtime.
South Point had the first overtime possession and Bray scored on fourth down from one yard out. Aaron Camp added his fourth extra point for the evening to put the Raiders up 28-21. The Huskies then took their turn from the ten but in three plays the Red Raider defense had pushed them back to the 17. On fourth and goal, backup quarterback Xavier Thomas dropped back to pass but was unable to find an open receiver and it looked like he would be taken down for a loss to end the game. Thomas evaded two defenders in the backfield, scooted up the middle that had been left open and fell just across the goal line as the defense brought him to the ground. Huss tried a two point conversion for the win and Moore was stopped for a six yard loss but the Huskies would have one more try after the Red Raiders were called for a horse-collar tackle on the play. Once again Moore was given the opportunity to give the Huskies the win but he was met at the goal line by Tanner Muse, Richard Dunning and Yale Loucks to preserve the win for the Red Raiders.
South Point coach Mickey Lineberger said of the Huss effort, “Hunter Huss played their tails off, they gave every ounce and a few more. We’re coming out of here with a win on a night when we didn’t play our best.” Of his defense he said, “We had enough character to hang in there and get it done even when it wasn’t our night.” Coach Gardner of Hunter Huss said, “I feel bad for the kids, they left it all on the field. I told them to keep their heads up and walk out of here proud now that they know what they are capable of.” When asked about his backup quarterback he replied,” Xavier is a good kid, he had the spotlight tonight and he did a good job.”
Next week South Point will be at home against Ashbrook who ended North Gaston’s win streak and Hunter Huss will be on the road to face East Gaston who picked up their first win of the season against Lake Norman Charter.