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By: Anthony Perkins


Gastonia – The South Point Red Raiders and the Ashbrook Green Wave lined up against each other on Friday night for what would be the last non-conference contest of the year for both teams.  The Green Wave entered the contest with a 4-1 record compared to the Red Raiders 3-2 record and one might have thought that this would be a closely contested game but South Point ran away with a 46-14 win.


South Point drew first blood midway through the first quarter and on their first drive when quarterback Keaton Hale scored on 27-yard quarterback keeper.  Hale also added the next points of the game on the first play of the second quarter on a 36-yard jaunt to give the Red Raiders a 12-0 lead after a blocked extra point and a failed two-point conversion attempt.


Fullback Naseem Jones added the third and fourth touchdowns for South Point on runs of 40 yards and 3 yards to take a 20 lead into the half.  During the first half, South Point’s offense rolled up 236 yards rushing on 28 attempts while their defense held Ashbrook to 78 total yards and only three first downs. 


Ashbrook head coach Brian Andrews said after the game, “We got off to a bad start and they (South Point) got their quarterback going and their fullback going and I just didn’t have our team prepared to play.”  The one thing Andrews was most disappointed in was his team’s performance in the kicking game.  Andrews said, ”We worked on that phase of the game last week and we just didn’t execute.”  He was probably referencing the pooch kick that South Point uses occasionally to try to catch teams off guard and the Green Wave fumbled two pooch kicks and lost one to the Red Raiders.


The second half was very similar to the first.  South Point’s Red Raiders scored once in the third quarter on a 7-yard run by Caleb Gibson to take a 32-0 lead into the last stanza. 


When the fourth quarter rolled around the second line defensive players finished out the game for the Red Raiders and both teams exchanged two touchdowns.  Keaton Hale started things off by scoring on the first play of the fourth quarter for South Point on a one-yard run before taking off for the rest of the game. Ashbrook followed up by getting on the board when quarterback Jakai Greer scored on a two-yard run but the Red Raiders answered three plays later when Jamani Leeper broke off a 58-yard quarterback keeper to push the Red Raiders out to a 46-7 lead.  Ashbrook scored on the final play of regulation when Tyreese Nicholas scored on a five-yard run for the final 46-14 score.


South Point head coach Adam Hodge said, “We played lights out tonight, the defense played good and the offense played good, it was just a good win.”  He was also pleased with the win since they will begin conference play next week.  Hodge commented, “It’s good to have a win under your belt when you enter conference play but we start a new season next week and you have to be able to do a reset as a team because one loss could cost you a conference title.”


South Point’s offense racked up 437 yards, all on the ground, and fullback Naseem Jones was the work horse with 216 yards on 26 carries. Ashbrook accumulated 189 yards rushing in 44 attempts and Greer completed one of four passes for eight yards.  Greer was also the top rusher for the Green Wave with 95 yards on 28 carries.


Next week South Point will travel to East Gaston for their conference opener to face the winless Warriors in Southwestern Conference play and Ashbrook will also be on the road to take on the league leading Crest Chargers of the Big South Conference.

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