By: Anthony Perkins
Lenoir – The Hibriten Panthers hosted the South Point Red Raiders on Friday night and when all was a said and done the Red Raiders walked away with a hard fought 20-7 victory over a very determined bunch of Panthers.
South Point scored before three minutes had ticked off the clock thanks to a Hibriten fumble on the third play of the opening possession of the contest. The Red Raiders were set up with a very short field at the Panthers 19-yard line. Three plays later Chaynce Ford punched it into the end-zone on a five-yard run and Charles Birtwistle added the PAT for an early 7-0 South Point lead.
Neither team mounted a scoring threat for the remainder of the first quarter. Hibriten started a drive near the end of the first quarter and it spilled over into the second quarter and was finally capped off by Dillan Earp on an 18-yard run. Ammon Blanton’s tied the contest at 7-7 with his successful point after attempt.
South Point answered on their next possession with an eight play, 61-yard drive that was capped off with a 36-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Patrick Blee to wide out Peyton McCarn. Birtwistle added the point after for a 14-7 Red Raider lead and the score stood at those numbers until the final quarter. In the final quarter the Red Raiders added and insurance touchdown on 34-yard run down the left side by Chaynce Ford but the PAT failed after a bad snap for a final score of 20-7.
The Red Raiders totaled 230 yards of offense with 194 rushing yards on 37 attempts and 36 yards passing. They gained 11 first downs, lost one fumble and were penalized 6 times for 50 yards. Quarterback Patrick Blee completed 1 of 4 passes with no interceptions. The Panthers totaled 163 yards; 138 yards on the ground in 39 attempts and 25 yards thru the air. They totaled 12 first downs, lost one fumble and were penalized 8 times for 80 yards and quarterback Avin Crawford completed 4 of 11 passes with no interceptions. No rushers for either team reached 100 yards.
After the game South Point coach Adam Hodge said, “I knew this was going to be a tough game and I told our team all week that they (Hibriten) were a well-coached, disciplined team. And that is exactly how they played and it was a good tough win. We didn’t look good at times and there are some things we have to clean up but a win is a win and I’ll take it any way we can get it.”
Next week the Red Raiders will be at home for the first time this year for their conference opener against Stuart Cramer and Hibriten will host Grove Grove.