SOUTH POINT PICKS UP SECOND WIN
BY: Anthony Perkins
Belmont – A disgruntled fan base in Belmont was bemoaning a 1-3 start by this year’s South Point Red Raider team but an identical start by the Red Raiders in 2016 was capped off with a state championship. I’m not about to proclaim that this Red Raider team will be state champs but they definitely got out of their downward spiral on Friday night with a 35-0 win over cross-town rival Stuart Cramer.
A South Point offense that averages about 30 points per contest has looked anemic until this week by posting only 49 points thru four games. Adding to their woes, the usually stingy Red Raider defense, that seldom gives up more than 14 points per game has surrendered 88 total points thru that same four game stretch. Friday night the Red Raiders offense broke out for 35 points while their defense pitched a shutout against the Stuart Cramer Storm.
South Point’s offense dominated the first quarter by holding onto the ball for all but one minute and one second but they were unable to score because of a long, time eating drive that ended with a fumble inside the Stuart Cramer five-yard line.
Less than two minutes into the second quarter and on their second possession of the game (that started in the first quarter), the Red Raiders took the lead on a seventeen-yard run by Jammari Lewis (4 carries, 48 yards) and never looked back. Quarterback Javus Davis (9 carries, 96 yards) added the second South Point score with just under eight minutes left in the half on a 61-yard run and UNC commit Ray Rose (11 carries, 90 yards) added a third Red Raider touchdown on a six-yard run with only sixteen seconds left in the half. Kicker Carson Smith was true on all three point-after attempts to give the Big Red a 21-0 half-time lead.
The South Point defense set the tone for the second half by digging in and forcing a quick three and out on Stuart Cramer’s first possession and a short punt gave the Red Raiders the ball at the Storm’s 40-yard line. Three plays later, Ray Rose, who also took a few snaps from center added his second touchdown for the Red Raiders on a 17-yard run. South Point finished the scoring for the game on their next possession when Devon King capped off an 81-yard drive with a one-yard plunge into the end-zone.
The Red Raiders piled up 439 yards rushing on 53 attempts, and completed one of two passes for 10 yards. Fullback Naseem Jones added 88 yards on thirteen carries. They committed one turnover (a fumble on their first drive), they moved the chains 23 times and they were flagged nine times for 80 yards.
South Point head coach Adam Hodge said, “We really needed this win for ourselves, our school, and our community. We shook some things up tonight because we want to get the best 22 players on the field so that we can live up to the South Point tradition of winning.”
Stuart Cramer could only muster 56 rushing yards on 24 attempts and their aerial attack netted 103 yards by completing 6 of 12 passes but they also tossed one interception, they moved the sticks 9 times and they were flagged seven times for 55 yards. De’Angelo Bruton had the highest production for the Storm with 61 yards on 10 carries.
Stuart Cramer head coach Ben McMillan was proud of his team’s effort but his frustration showed by saying, “We were disappointed to have several key players out with injuries but, we just have to quit shooting ourselves in the foot, we make a good play then we have successive penalties or we mishandle a snap and get behind the chains. You just can’t do those things and expect to win.”
Both teams will begin conference play next week. Stuart Cramer will host the Kings Mountain Mountaineers and South Point will travel to Lawndale to take on the red-hot Burns Bulldogs.