SOUTH POINT BLANKS EAST GASTON ON BLACK FRIDAY 42-0
By: Anthony Perkins
South Point’s Naseem Jones and Ray Grier Shine in Conference Opener
MOUNT HOLLY – South Point (4-2, 0-0) visited East Gaston (0-6, 0-0) on Friday evening for their annual football contest and the first Southwestern Conference game for both teams this season. This rivalry dates back to 1972 and has become known as “Black Friday" because of the close proximity of the schools and the interaction between the students that often occurs away from school. South Point holds the lead in this annual event with a 35-9-2 record and they extended the lead in their domination of this series with a 42-0 win this year.
South Point gained a 14-0 lead before the offense ever took a snap thanks to Ray Grier’s two punt returns for touchdowns after a stingy South Point defense stopped East Gaston on their first two possessions. Grier’s two scores of 60 and 55 yards respectively was all that the Red Raiders would need to secure the win but all of that happened in the first five and half minutes of the first quarter.
South Point’s “Red Bone” offense added three more scores in the second quarter which turned out to be a highlight reel for fullback Naseem Jones who scored on runs of eight, seven and three yards. Two of those touchdowns were set up when South Point defenders Nick Gange and Devon King picked off East Gaston quarterback DJ Maultsby to give the Red Raider excellent field position which they promptly took advantage of from their opponents.
Holding a 35-0 lead, the starting offense took the field in the second half for only the opening possession. The Red Raiders advanced the ball to the East Gaston 12-yard line before they fumbled the ball away to the Warriors to end the drive. Second line players took over the game for the Red Raiders after that and on their first offensive possession capped off a 43-yard drive with a seven-yard touchdown run by fullback Hunter Hogue to push the game into a running clock with a 42-0 lead turned out to be the final score.
The Red Raider defense held East Gaston to 108 total yards. East Gaston fullback Brodie Hilton was the Warriors workhorse with 72 yards on 20 carries. Quarterback Maultsby totaled 16 yards on six carries and KJ Dagout had five yards on three carries. Maultsby completed five of 11 passes for 18 yards however he tossed two picks. East Gaston moved the chains eight times and they were flagged four times for seventeen yards.
South Point’s offense accumulated 346 total yards with 315 yards rushing and 31 yards passing. Naseem Jones was the big gainer for the Red Raiders with 165 yards on 19 carries plus three touchdowns. Slotback Caleb Gibson garnered 51 yards on four carries, Hunter Hodge 32 yards on six carries, and Javus Davis tallied 40 yards on five carries. Quarterback Keaton Hale completed three of seven passes for 31 yards with one reception going to Zane Andrews for 10 yards, one going to Ray Grier for 10 yards and one going to Jammani Lewis for 11 yards. South Point collected fifteen first downs and they were assessed sixty-five yards for nine penalties.
Both East Gaston and South Point will continue conference play on the road next week. The Warriors will travel to Chase to face the Trojans and the Red Raiders will be hosted by the East Rutherford Cavaliers.