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By: Anthony Perkins


Belmont – South Point hosted the West Iredell Warriors in the first round of the state 2AA playoffs on Friday night and posted a 48-0 shutout to move into the second round. The Red Raiders got off to a shaky start after West Iredell’s Keenan Bunch returned the opening kickoff from the Warrior three yard line to the South Point 43. The Red Raider defense allowed the Warriors to gain only one first down before digging in and halting the Warrior drive on a fourth and three at the South Point 25.


South Point took over the ball at their own 35 yard line for their first possession and it took an eleven play drive that took four minutes off the clock and captured the lead when quarterback Scottie Lee hooked up with Ray Grier on a 12 yard pass to the right corner of the end-zone.   The Red Raider defense forced a fourth down fumble on the Warriors next possession and fullback Jake Alexander carried it in on the next play from 37 yards out to give the home team a 14-0 first quarter lead.


The Red Raiders added three more touchdowns in the second quarter.  The first score came on a 29 yard run by Alexander at the 10:20 mark, they followed up with a five yard pass reception by Ray Grier at the 7:04 mark and a 31 yard run by Alexander with 1:58 left in the half completed the first half scoring.


The Warriors had their best chance to score following Alexanders third score when they marched down to the South Point nine yard line but they were turned away with a stout defensive effort from the Red Raiders when quarterback Keenan Burch was tackled for a one yard loss as the clock ticked to all zeroes.


After the game, South Point head coach Adam Hodge said, “We played okay tonight, good enough to move on to the next round but we saw some things we need to work on this week.  We didn’t tackle very well tonight.” He was asked about next week’s contest against Shelby and he said, “Shelby is a good team and now it’s win or go home.”  We’ve got to get better, that’s always our goal: to get better every week.”


With the start of the second half, second line offensive players finished out the ball game for the Red Raiders and many junior varsity players also saw extensive action.  Fullback Naseem Jones added a touchdown on a two yard run in the third quarter and on a three yard run in the fourth quarter to round out the scoring.


South Point accumulated 400 yards rushing on 36 attempts and Lee went three for five in the passing department for 28 yards with two of those receptions accounting for scores.  The Red Raiders moved the chains 17 times, but they coughed the ball up twice in the second half and the team was flagged three times for twenty yards.  As a result of this win the Red Raiders improve to 12-0 and posted their sixth shutout.


West Iredell gained 94 yards rushing on thirty-eight attempts; they went 8-13 in the passing game for 108 yards for a total offensive output of 202 yards.  They did however toss one interception, gained twelve first downs and the team was flagged seven times for 55 yards.


Next week the Red Raiders will be at home to face the Shelby Golden Lions who posted a 49-20 win over Newton-Conover.  

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