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By: Anthony Perkins


Belmont – South Point returned to the friendly confines of Lineberger Stadium after a seven-week absence and celebrated their 50th homecoming with an impressive and decisive win against the RS Central Hilltoppers on Friday night with a 49-point first half scoring barrage.


After a failed on-side opening kickoff by the Hilltoppers the Red Raiders took only three plays and seventeen seconds to post their first touchdown.  The 57-yard opening drive was capped off with a 25-yard pass from quarterback Keaton Hale to Ray Grier and South Point was ‘off and running.’


Hale took matters into his own hands by scoring on runs of 28 and 8 yards on South Point’s next two drives.  Both drives used a total of only five plays with the second drive starting at the Hilltoppers 13-yard line after Omari Hunt picked off an RS Central pass at the Hilltoppers 30-yard line.  The last score of the opening quarter occurred on the next South Point possession when Caleb Gibson notched his first of two touchdowns on an eight-yard run.


Before the second quarter started, several South Point starters were already finished for the evening and were watching from the sideline with a 27-0 lead.  Caleb Gibson scored his second touchdown less than thirty seconds into the second stanza on a four-yard run up the middle and a two-point conversion run by Devon King pushed the score to 35-0.  That score sparked another wave of new faces entering the game on the defensive side of the South Point line.


Fullback Naseem Jones scored the next Red Raider touchdown on a one-yard run with just over eight minutes remaining in the half and the last score of the first half and the final score for the Red Raiders came on the last play of the half when South Point safety Devon King picked a pass from Hilltopper Bryson Flynn near mid-field and weaved his way through the Hilltoppers to take it the distance with no time remaining on the clock.  Half-time score South Point 49, RS Central 0.


After the half-time homecoming festivities, the Red Raiders had a bevy of new faces in the game for the running clock that allowed only two possessions for both teams in the entire second half.  In the final quarter the Hilltoppers erased the shutout when Ken Hines III scored on a two-yard run for the 49-6 final score.


South Point accumulated 282 total yards with 201 yards rushing on 32 carries and quarterbacks Keaton Hale and Jamani Leeper jointly went 4-6-0 in the passing department for another 81 yards.  South Point moved the chains 13 times, had no turnovers but they were assessed 50 yards for nine penalties. 


After being held to 56 total yards in the first half, RS Central finished up with 162 total yards; 133 yards rushing on 44 carries and quarterback Bryson Flynn went 3 for 10 in the passing department for 29 yards.  The Hilltoppers racked up 15 first downs but they lost two of three fumbles, tossed three interceptions and were flagged three times for 39 yards.


Next week South Point will host the Chase Trojans and RS Central will visit the East Gaston Warriors.

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