SOUTH POINT CRUSHES EAST GASTON IN RIVALRY CONTEST
By: Anthony Perkins
Mount Holly – The South Point Red Raiders used a 21-point first quarter scoring barrage to put away the homestanding East Gaston Warriors in a Southwestern 2A Conference game on Friday night. The Red Raiders first possession started at their 35-yard line after the opening kickoff and on the seventh play from scrimmage they found the endzone when fullback Hunter Hogue scored from four yards out. After recovering an onside-kick the visiting Red Raiders set us shop at the East Gaston 49 and Hogue scored his second touchdown on a 12-yard scamper capping off their second drive that pushed the lead to 14-0 with just under four minutes left in the opening stanza. South Point’s final first quarter score came less than a minute later when quarterback Will Rhinehart scored on a 10-yard run. That score was set up by an East Gaston fumble at their own twenty-yard line and it was the only play that the Warriors had ran up to this point in the game.
After the first quarter fiasco the Warrior offense settled down and pushed the ball inside the South Point twenty but two negative yardage plays and a penalty pushed the ball back to midfield before the Warriors turned the ball over on downs.
South Point managed only one first down on their next drive before punting the ball back to the Warriors who then went on a 53-yard, ten play drive that was capped off with a seventeen-yard pass from Trenton Sherrill to Nehemiah Stovall. Sherrill escaped several would be South Point defenders and spotted Stovall cutting across the back of the end-zone for the score. A failed extra point left the score at 21-6 which both teams carried to the locker room for the half.
The Warriors received the opening kick-off for the second half and steadily moved the ball down the field and appeared to be going for a score that could have made it an interesting ball game. Disaster struck inside the South Point 35 when East Gaston mishandled the ball in the backfield and an eager Red Raider defense jumped on the loose pigskin. Three plays later South Point running back Trevor Jones scored on a 21-yard run to give the Red Raiders a 28-6 lead and South Point never looked back.
South Point added two additional touchdowns in the final quarter. Cam Medlock scored on the Red Raiders first snap in the fourth quarter on a one-yard run and Jack Milford added the final touchdown on a two-yard run with over nine minutes left in the contest. Kicker Carson Smith was perfect for the contest on six of six point after attempts and the Red Raiders also scored a safety in the final quarter when East Gaston was forced to punt inside their own five and the snap sailed over the punters head and out of the end-zone.
After the game South Point coach Adam Hodge was asked about the early onside kickoff by South Point after their first score. He said, “We caught ‘em by surprise, they certainly weren’t expecting it. Sometimes you call a play and it works and everybody thinks you’re a genius and sometimes you call a play and it doesn’t work and everybody thinks you’re crazy. You just have to make a decision and go with it: sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.”
South Point’s rushing offense accumulated 308 yards on 52 carries and quarterback Will Rhinehart connected on one of three passing attempts for 18 yards. The total output for the Red Raider offense was 326 yards. East Gaston’s rushing attack could only muster 58 yards on 28 carries and quarterback Trenton Sherrill connected on 10 of 21 passes for an additional 103 yards to give the Warriors a total of 161 yards for the evening. The Warriors were flagged eight times for 55 yards and they lost three fumbles while the Red Raiders were flagged 11 times for 94 yards but they had no turnovers.
Next week the Red Raiders will travel to Stuart Cramer for their only non-conference game of the year and East Gaston will host RS Central.