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By: Anthony Perkins

Belmont – The South Point Red Raider offense rode fullback Ryland Etherton all the way to victory in the second round of the playoffs with a 42-21 victory over the Statesville Greyhounds on Friday night to propel South Point into the third round of the 3A state playoffs. Red Raider coach Mickey Lineberger said, “This was the best game we have played this year and it was a total team win by the offense, defense and kicking teams.  When you get to this time of the year you want to be playing your best ball and right now we are.”  

Statesville got off to a bad start that seemed to set the tone for the visiting Greyhounds.  On the second play from scrimmage quarterback Travis Ramseur tossed what appeared to be a screen pass to Tyrek Morrison to the right side but he dropped the backward pass (lateral) and South Point’s Nick Farmer scooped up the ball and ran 35 yards untouched to the end-zone giving South Point a 7-0 lead less than a minute into the game.

The Greyhounds were forced to punt on their next possession when Ramseur was sacked for a 14 yard loss on a third and six pass play that never developed.  The subsequent punt set up the Red Raider offense for their only possession of the first quarter.  Starting at their own 38, the “red-bone” offense used eight rushing plays to cover the 62 yards needed to get into the end-zone and take a quick 14-0 lead.  Etherton carried the ball on five of those eight plays and covered the final 13 yards for his first of four touchdowns for the contest.  

Statesville closed to within seven points on their first drive of the second quarter when Ramseur hooked up with Dwight Mumford on a six yard pass but that was as close as the Greyhounds would get for the remainder of the contest.  

Etherton added his second score with less than three minutes remaining in the half on a five yard run to give the Red Raiders a 21-7 half time advantage.  The South Point defense preserved the 14 point advantage when Max Mead picked a Ramseur pass at the South Point 25 and returned the ball to the Statesville one yard line with over a minute left to play but a personal foul penalty for a “block behind the play” brought the ball back inside Red Raider territory where they were content to just run out the clock.

The Red Raiders increased their lead to 28-7  in the third quarter on an eight yard run by quarterback Diontre King but Statesville kept comeback hopes alive by answering that score with a 14 yard run by Ramseur before the quarter ended.

In the fourth quarter Statesville sandwiched a 32 yard touchdown pass from Ramseur to Tyrek Morrison between two one yard touchdown runs by South Point’s Etherton to complete the scoring for the game.

Statesville head coach Randal Gusler commented, “We had a few bad breaks that costed us and we just couldn’t recover against a good team like South Point.  I’m proud of our players because they could have quit after getting down by 21 early in the third quarter but they kept trying to come back”

Next week South Point will be at home again to take on the West Rowan Falcons who were 41-19 winners over West Henderson.

                                        South Point        Statesville
Rushing Carries/Yards    57/344               37/185
Passing Yards                  0                       97
Total Yards                      344                    282 
First Downs                      18                      16
Penalties                          2/20                   4/36
Fumbles/Lost                   2/0                      1/1
Interceptions                     0                        2

SP Rushing: Etherton 38-216, King 16-102,  Washam 1-24, Wilson 1-3
SP Passing: King 0-2-0

SV Rushing: Ramseur 19-99, Clark 16-62,  Morrison 2-24
SV Passing: Ramseur 7-13-2
SV Receiving: Morrison 4-74, Mumford 1-13, Keaton 1-9, Clark 1-1



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