CLOVER DOMINATES SOUTH POINT IN 35-7 WIN
By: Anthony Perkins
Belmont – The South Point Red Raiders hosted South Carolina’s Clover Blue Eagles on Friday night for the 2019 High School Patriot Bowl. The pregame festivities included U.S. Army Golden Knight paratroopers parachuting down onto the field, the South Point and Clover bands combining to perform the National Anthem and recognition of all current, former and retired members of the armed services and all “first responders” along with all of their family members. This was also the first “Patriot Bowl“ that featured teams from two different states (NC & SC). The purpose of the ‘Patriot Bowl’ is to recognize and commemorate the different branches of the military and first responders for their services and sacrifices since the 9-11 attacks on our great country.
Clover set the tone of the contest on the opening kickoff when Zaccheus Davis ripped off an 89-yard return for the first score of the game and a 7-0 lead from which the Eagles never looked back. Clover padded the lead on their second possession that covered 54 yards in only six plays. Quarterback Gabe Carroll (18-27, 198 yards) hit his favorite target, Jaylin Lane (8 receptions, 98 yards), from three yards out to put the Eagles second score on the board however a failed point-after attempt kept the score at 13-0 until less than three minutes remained in the half.
Clover expanded their lead to 20-0 on a fourteen-yard pass when the Carroll to Lane connection worked again with 2:27 left in the second quarter.
The Eagles stretched out to their largest lead (26-0) in the third quarter on a seven-yard pass from Carroll to Zaccheus Davis just ten seconds before the quarter came to a close. While Clover’s offense was busy putting points on the board through the first three quarters their defense had been just as successful at shutting down the South Point offense which up to that point in the game still had less than 100 total yards to show for the evening.
The Red Raiders anemic offense finally caught a gear to begin the final quarter and finished a 74-yard drive with a 17-yard touchdown run by fullback Hunter Hogue. The Blue Eagles answered with a 62-yard drive that was capped off by a 3-yard run to pay-dirt by fullback David Hall for the visitor’s final possession and the 35-7 final score. The Red Raiders were knocking on the door inside the Clover 10 when the last second ticked off the clock that ended the game.
Neither team suffered a turnover but the game was pock marked by a plethora of penalties. The Blue Eagles were flagged seventeen times for 155 yards and the Red Raiders had laundry thrown on the field six times for 58 yards. Also, if memory serves correctly, five additional plays were negated because of offsetting penalties.
Clover finished the game with 102 yards rushing on 17 attempts while their aerial attack netted 198 yards for a total of 300 yards. South Point finished with 107 yards rushing in 41 attempts and a passing attack that netted 108 yards on 7 completions out of 12 passing attempts for a total of 215 yards.
Next week the Red Raiders will hit the road again and travel the short seven-mile distance to Forestview. The Clover Blue Eagles will travel to Gastonia NC to take on Ashbrook.