SOUTH POINT – DUDLEY REMATCH UP NEXT
By: Anthony Perkins
Belmont – South Point’s Red Raiders hosted the Hickory Red Tornadoes on Friday night for the first round of the NCHSAA 3A playoffs and after a closely contested first half (21-13) blew away the Red Tornadoes for a 48-13 win to advance to the second round.
The Red Tornadoes took an early lead when an 11 play, 80-yard drive resulted in Tylar Johnson scoring from three yards out on Hickory’s opening possession of the game. South Point wasted no time in getting even when freshman quarterback Patrick Blee scored on an 8-yard jaunt to cap off the Red Raiders opening eight play, 66-yard drive with just over four minutes remaining in the first stanza.
Early in the second quarter and on South Point’s next possession the Red Raiders captured the lead, which they would never surrender, on a 16-yard run by fullback Cam Medlock. South Point’s defense forced a Red Tornado punt on Hickory’s next possession after which the offense went back to work and added to the Red Raider lead with another Medlock scoring run from four yards out. Just before the half ended and on their next possession, Hickory cut into the lead when Dashawn Medley scored on a nine-yard toss from quarterback Brady Stober to make the score 21-13 but the Red Tornados would get no closer for the remainder of the contest.
South Point’s ‘Red Bone Offense’ shifted into high gear in the third quarter and scored on two ‘chunk plays.’ The first was a 34-yard run up the middle by fullback Cam Medlock and the second score came on an 83-yard quarterback keeper by Patrick Blee. Medlock scored again on a 24-yard run just after the beginning of the fourth quarter to send the first line players to the bench for the rest of the game.
South Point added one more score, but it came by way of the defensive unit when Jayden Garrett-Straite picked a Hickory pass and returned it 65-yards to the house for the final points of the game and the final 48-13 score.
After the game South Point head coach Adam Hodge commented, “We had a good week of practice and all of the coaching staff did a great job to really prepare the team. They (Hickory) have some good weapons and in the first half our defense was mainly protecting against their big play ability by giving some cushion to their passing game but in the second half we tightened it up and the defense played really well.”
Hickory totaled 79 yards rushing and 261 yards passing for a total of 340 yards for the contest. Quarterback Brady Stober completed 23 of 39 passes but he tossed 2 interceptions. They moved the chains 18 times, they were penalized once for ten yards, and they had two turnovers.
South Point’s offense was a complete contrast to Hickory’s offense in that they relied almost exclusively on the run. The Red Raider’s passed only once for three yards, but 53 rushing attempts yielded 477 yards for a total output of 480 yards. Quarterback Patrick Blee was the big gainer for the evening with 227 yards on 16 carries and fullback Cam Medlock wasn’t far behind him with 178 yards on 22 carries. South Point accumulated 22 first downs, they lost two fumbles, and they were penalized five times for 45 yards. The Red Raiders were forced to punt only once and that was late in the fourth quarter when the game had already been decided.
South Point will hit the road for the second round and travel to Greensboro to take on the Dudley Panthers, the team that took the Red Raiders out of the playoffs last year in the fourth round.