Posted: November 17, 2018
SOUTH POINT ADVANCES TO SECOND ROUND WITH WIN OVER MOUNT PLEASANT
By: Anthony Perkins
Mount Pleasant – The #7 seed Mount Pleasant Tigers ended their season with a 28-7 loss to the 10th seeded South Point Red Raiders on Friday night in the first round of the 2AA state playoffs.
Both teams started out slow, maybe due to first round jitters and some unsure footing on the playing field. After each squad traded a pair of three and outs in the first stanza both teams calmed down and found their footing by the second quarter.
South Point got on the board first in the second quarter when Keaton Hale scored on a 35-yard quarterback keeper and Cade Ratliff added the point after for a 7-0 lead for the visitors. The Tigers were quick to respond and on their ensuing possession they went on a 75-yard, eight play drive that fullback Landon Honeycutt capped off with a three-yard touchdown run. Owen Prifti added the extra point to even the score at 7-7.
Arguably, the turning point of the game happened just 29 seconds later when South Point fullback Naseem Jones broke a 54-yarder off of the left tackle to give the Red Raiders a 14-7 lead that they would never relinquish. Mount Pleasant move the ball inside the South Point 30 on their next possession but the Red Raider defense dug in and halted the drive at the 28 after a fourth down pass from Chance Daquila to Bryson Leonard fell harmlessly to the ground.
The second half started with South Point holding a tenuous seven-point lead but the Tigers got the first possession after winning the opening toss and deferring to the second half. Unfortunately for the Rocky River 2A champs, their first possession of the second half only netted three yards before they were forced to punt the ball away from their own 31-yard line.
South Point set up shop at their own 36-yard line and used only six plays to get into the end-zone for their third score and a more comfortable 21-7 lead. Naseem Jones once again did the honors with a 38-yard run.
Mount Pleasant’s next possession ended when safety Tre Glenn picked off a Daquilla pass at the South Point 40 to give the Red Raider good position for what turned out to be the final scoring drive of the game. After the change of possession, the Red Raiders found the pay dirt again when Keaton Hale connected with Ray Grier on 27-yard slant pattern. Ratliff added his fourth of four extra points for what would be the 28-7 final score.
South Point head coach Adam Hodge was very complimentary of Mount Pleasant quarterback Daquila Chance and fullback Landon Honeycutt and he also thought the two picks by South Point’s defense were the difference in the ball game. He also said, “Our offensive line did a great job by blowing them (Mount Pleasant) off of the ball.” Concerning their slow start, he said, “We’ve never played here or played each other and it just took us a while to get going.” When asked about the importance of his defense shutting down Mount Pleasant’s opening drive of the second half he replied, “I told them at the half that we had to go out and make a statement on their first drive and set the tone for the second half and they did and I was proud and pleased with their effort.”
Mount Pleasant head coach Michael Johns was rightly disappointed with the end result but he said, “I’m disappointed for the seniors, this has been a special group of kids that I have had the privilege of coaching.” He was also pleased with the efforts of Chance and Honeycutt on offense and he added, “The last few weeks our defense has played well but tonight they (South Point) converted too many third downs and they eat up a lot of clock.”
South Point finished the game with 359 total yards, 321 yards rushing and 38 yards passing compared to Mount Pleasant’s 129 yards rushing and 26 yards passing for a total of 155 yards. The Red Raiders moved the chains 21 times and the Tigers only had 7 first downs. South Point was flagged twice for 20 yards and Mount Pleasant three times for 25 yards. South Point’s defense shone brightly in the win by limiting the Tigers to only 34 second half yards in only 12 plays and their offense consumed 11:10 of the fourth quarter on a single drive that ended with the Red Raiders taking a knee to run out the clock.
Next week South Point will travel to Lenoir to face the #2 seed Hibriten Panters who defeated East Henderson 63-0.