SOUTH POINTE SURVIVES SHELBY COMEBACK BID
By: Anthony Perkins
Shelby – The Rock Hill, SC South Pointe Stallions visited Shelby NC on Friday night to take on the Shelby Golden Lions in a gridiron contest. What appeared to be an easy win midway through the third quarter for the visiting Stallions turned into a shootout before South Pointe finally secured a hard fought 51-37 win.
The Stallions got on the scoreboard first when kicker Chip Distasio connected on a 25-yard field goal after South Pointe’s opening drive stalled inside the Shelby 10-yard line. After both teams traded possessions the Golden Lions started their second possession at the Stallions 45 and took only three plays to reach the end zone. Running back Demetrius Thompson capped the short drive with a 21-yard burst to give Shelby a 7-3 lead with just over four minutes remaining in the opening quarter. South Pointe recaptured the lead with just over a minute left in the opening stanza when JaQuan Thompson scored on a 14-yard jaunt to make the score 10-7 in favor of the visitors.
The second quarter saw the Stallions rack up 27 unanswered points to seemingly put the game safely away. JaQuan Thompson notched his second TD for the evening on a 21-yard run with 10:52 left on the clock. The next two scores were the result of quarterback Zaveion McCrorey connecting with Waymond Jenerette on a 16-yard pass and Armendiz Huskey for a 65-yard pass. Both of those scores came within two minutes of each other and with only thirteen seconds left in the half McCrorey added another score on a six-yard run to make the half-time score 37-7 in favor of South Pointe. The Stallions defense had an equally stellar performance in the second quarter by allowing the Golden Lions a net of only 38 yards and two first downs.
Shelby took the opening kickoff to start the second half but their opening drive stalled at mid-field before being forced to punt. The Shelby punt pinned South Pointe inside their fifteen. After a four-yard run and an incomplete pass, McCrorey dropped back to attempt a third down pass. His pass was a little high and it was tipped by intended receiver Jakhari Webb. Defensive cornerback PJ Hopper gathered in the ball at the thirty-five and ran it in for a Shelby Pick-6 to cut the South Pointe lead to 37-14.
The Golden Lions seemed to come alive at the turn of events but the Stallions burst their bubble when on the second play of their next possession McCrorey hooked up with Jenrette for an 83-yard pass and run down the left side line. That score pushed the South Pointe lead out to 44-14 with just under seven minutes left in the third quarter. However, after that score it seemed like the wheels fell off of the South Pointe attack.
With just over two minutes left in the third the Stallions were caught for a holding penalty in their end-zone which resulted in a safety. With less than a minute remaining in the third quarter Shelby added another touchdown when quarterback Daylin Lee connected with JaKeith Hamilton on a twenty-yard pass to further cut into the South Pointe lead at 44-23.
The Stallions were unable to move the ball on their next possession which rolled over into the final quarter and Shelby forced a South Pointe punt from inside the Stallions 15. The Golden Lion defense was able to block the Stallions punt attempt from their end-zone and fall on the ball for another Shelby touchdown to cut what seemed like an insurmountable deficit to only 14 points (44-30) with over nine minutes remaining in the contest.
On the Stallions next drive they fumbled the ball inside their ten on the first play from scrimmage to give the Golden Lions another ideal attempt to cut into their rapidly dwindling lead. The South Pointe defense rose to the occasion however, and forced Shelby to turn the ball over on downs at the four-yard line. With their backs still against the wall the Stallions offense went to their passing attack on the ensuing possession. McCrorey dropped back into the endzone to attempt a pass on first down but Shelby defender Camden McGill stepped in front of the would-be receiver to pick off another pass and his six-yard return to pay-dirt cut deeper into the South Pointe lead which now stood at only 44-37.
The Golden Lions still had eight minutes to work with after their second pick-6 for the evening but they were not able to mount another scoring threat. On their next possession they turned the ball over on downs at their own seventeen and the Stallions posted the final points of the game on a one-yard run by Caleb Simms for the final points and a 51-37 final score.
Shelby lost the game but they fought back with the heart of a Lion. And the moral to this story is this: Don’t ever think that a lead against Shelby is good enough, no matter how large that lead may seem to be.
Congratulations to both teams for a very entertaining game!