KINGS MOUNTAIN STILL UNDEFEATED AFTER A VICTORY OVER CONFERENCE FOE SOUTH POINT
By: Anthony Perkins
Kings Mountain – Kings Mountain and South Point, two undefeated teams, met on Friday night for the outright lead in the Big South Conference, a potential conference title and a number one seed in the state playoffs. The host Mountaineers had too much fire power for the Red Raiders on this night and secured a solid grip on first place in the conference race with a 31-20 victory. Only one serious contender, the Crest Chargers, remains on their schedule and that will be their final contest of the regular season, while South Point has a solid grip on second place with a victory over the Chargers just one week ago.
The Mounties had the first possession but a three and out gave the Red Raiders decent field position at their own 36. After moving the ball deep into Kings Mountain territory on five plays the Mountaineer defense stiffened and South Point turned the ball over on downs at the Kings Mountain 27.
On their second possession the Mountaineers went on a 5 minute and 28 second drive that was capped off with a 29-yard field goal by Jaden Ellis. The Kings Mountain defense allowed the Red Raiders to advance the ball just beyond mid-field on their next possession before forcing a South Point punt.
Kings Mountains next possession started at their own 20 and spilled over into the second quarter and the offense was able to push it into the end-zone to cap off a 10-play, 80-yard drive. Caleb Holland completed the drive when he scored from 10 yards out to push the lead out to 10-0 for the Mountaineers.
South Point’s next drive ended in an interception at the Kings Mountain 16. The Mounties looked like they might run away with the game after the South Point turnover when quarterback Lamont Littlejohn completed a 50-pass play to Xzorion Lenair but the South Point defenders knocked the ball loose on the tackle and recovered the pigskin at their own 33.
The Red Raiders quickly advanced the ball into Kings Mountain territory but consecutive holding penalties by South Point eventually forced a Red Raider punt. Kings Mountain’s next possession yielded another Jaden Ellis field goal (40 yards) with only one second left in the half.
South Point got their offense in gear on the first possession of the second half with a 65-yard touchdown drive that took nine minutes and thirty seconds off the clock. Fullback Cam Medlock cut into the Kings Mountain lead on a three-yard run but the PAT failed to leave the margin at 10-6 in favor of the Mountaineers.
The Red Raider defense appeared to have stopped the Mountaineer’s offensive machine on their next possession but with a fourth and one at the South Point 40, Littlejohn dropped back to pass and dropped the ball over Zay Smith’s right shoulder on a spectacular pass play that Smith gathered in before sprinting the remaining 20 yards into the end-zone. The PAT was good and Kings Mountain stretched the lead to 17-6 just over a minute into the fourth quarter. Kings Mountain added to their lead (24-6) on their next possession when Robert Kendrick scored on a six-yard run and the game appeared to be over with just a little over six minutes remaining in the contest.
However, the Red Raiders weren’t ready to throw in the towel and used only two plays, a 53-yard pass and a 10-yard pass, both from quarterback Patrick Blee to his brother, Jackson Blee to trim the Kings Mountain advantage to 26-12 after the two-point conversion attempt failed. South Point attempted an on-side kick but it was recovered by Kings Mountain. The Mountaineers sewed the game up with a 44-yard drive that was capped off with a one-yard dive by AJ Richardson with less than two minutes remaining.
However, South Point still made it interesting with a 65-yard touchdown drive that Cam Medlock capped off with an 11-yard run. A two-point conversion run by Patrick Blee cut the margin to 31-20 but less than a minute remained on the clock and that was a close a South Point could get. The Red Raiders managed to recover the on-side kick at the Mounties forty-six but three incomplete passes and a quarterback sack ended any more hopes for a miraculous Red Raider finish and the homestanding Mountaineers had secured a 31-20 victory.
South Point’s offense finished up with 309 total yards, with 201 yards coming on their rushing attack and 108 yards through the air. They accumulated 11 first downs and they were flagged 8 times for 60 yards. Patrick Blee completed five of thirteen passes and tossed one interception. Fullback Cam Medlock was the South Point workhorse as he amassed 153 yards rushing on 27 carries.
Kings Mountain quarterback Lamont Littlejohn completed twelve of seventeen passes with no picks on his way to 225 yards with the Mounties air attack. On the ground, Caleb Holland had 12 carries for 89 yards and fullback Teddy Jeffries piled up 92 yards on fourteen carries to account for the majority of the Mountaineers 195 rushing yards. Kings Mountain’s offense totaled 416 yards for the contest, they moved the chains 14 times, and lost one fumble. The team was penalized six times for 55 yards.
Next week Kings Mountain will travel to Cramerton to take on the Stuart Cramer Storm and South Point will travel to Gastonia to face the Ashbrook Green Wave.