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By: Anthony Perkins 

Belmont – “You just can’t turn it over to them and we gave the ball away five times,” were the words of Burns coach Matt Beam following the Bulldogs 51-14 loss to South Point.  The under rated and often overlooked Red Raider defense forced five turnovers, 3 fumbles and 2 interceptions, in a most impressive second round win in the NCHSAA playoffs. 

South Point coach Mickey Lineberger said, “I think this is the best game we have played all year in all three phases of the game, kicking, offense and defense.”  The South Point defensive unit limited Burns to only 14 points and 309 yards, 24 points and 100 yards under their averages, while the Red Raiders offense reeled off 51 points (the most surrendered by Burns this year) and 394 yards to cruise into the third round.

The Bulldogs were playing somewhat short-handed and were without the services of fullback Tyler Ruff (injury) and Denzell Gullatte (virus) however, running back Jaden King performed admirably with 15 carries for 193 yards and the passing attack of the Bulldogs never got off the ground as Chris Montgomery was only able to complete six passes in 16 attempts and he tossed two picks.

The first Burns possession ended on a Chris Montgomery fumble at the South Point 43 and it sort of set the tone for the first half.  The Burns defense was able to stop the Red Raiders offense and force a South Point punt but disaster struck on the second play following the punt when Tanner Muse picked a Montgomery pass and returned it for a 32 yard pick 6 and the early 7-0 Red Raider lead.

Just before the end of the first quarter Burns coughed up their second fumble during a punt return that was recovered by South Point’s Clay Julen.  On the first play following the fumble quarterback Jaquan Brooks broke off a 43 yarder to push the Red Raider lead to 14. 

Burns needed only the first four plays in the second quarter to go 86 yards; Montgomery capped the drive with a 7 yard toss to Scooter Colburn to chop the South Point lead in half, but it was only temporary. With less than five minutes left in the first half Jaquan Brooks 2 yard run capped off a 70 yard drive to give the Red Raiders a 21-7 lead that they took into the half.

On their first possession in the second half, the Red Raiders required only three plays; a 19 yard run by Diontrea King, a five yard run by Brooks and a 44 yard run by Tanner Muse for his second touchdown and a 28-7 South Point lead.  Burns gave their last response on their next possession with a four play, 81 yard drive that Montgomery capped off with a four yard run.  South Point added another third quarter touchdown on a 2 yard run by Tyler Bray and Aaron Camp added a 26 yard field goal.

Two more Red Raiders added touchdowns in the fourth quarter; a 25 yard run by Trey Crenshaw and Diontrea King, who had taken over as the quarterback, scored on a 57 yard breakaway to finish up the scoring and the 51-14 final score.

Next week the Red Raiders will take to the road to take on the Concord Spiders, 21-14 winners over Piedmont.

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