Red Raiders Take Care Of Business…Smash Knights, 48-0
October 23, 2016
"On paper" the contest with Lake Norman Charter seemed a foregone conclusion. The Raiders would march in, crush the opponent, and leave town with what would amount to a decisive "W" in the win column. But astute analysts and armchair quarterbacks understand that teams still must take the field. And when they do, anything can happen. Upsets may be improbable, but they are not impossible. The worst has been known to beat the best. The lesser has overcome the greater. David defeated Goliath. The matchup with the Knights of Lake Norman Charter had all the makings of an upset of colossal portions, the likes of which mankind had never known. Well maybe not "world-changing" but certainly South Point and the RaiderNation wouldn't feel the same! So when the teams took the field last Friday night which way would the scales tip? Well…the Raiders marched in, crushed the opponent, and left town with a decisive "W" in the win column! Offense, defense, and special teams once again contributed to the lopsided victory. The shutout extended South Point's perfect record against Lake Norman Charter. And the Raiders' 48 points added to the series total. South Point has outscored the Knights 200-0 in four, all-time, meetings! Without doubt, Lake Norman Charter is a strong proponent of the NCHSAA's conference realignments. It gives the Knights their best chance to remove the Raiders from the schedule and at this point that would be a victory in itself!
The Knights won the toss and deferred the option to give the Raiders the first offensive possession of the game. Apparently though, South Point was eager to go on defense because their first scoring drive took a mere 1:46 off the first quarter clock. A Scottie Lee to Nick Muse 21 yard pass netted the game's (more appropriately South Point's) initial touchdown. The Red 'D' proved quickly to outmatch the Knights and forced a punt on Lake Norman Charter's first possession. South Point mounted a drive to the LNC 22 and would attempt a field goal. Unfortunately the kick was into a gusty wind and while hit squarely and on target would fall a few yards short of the mark. The failure of the scoring threat would be one of two small victories for the Knights (the other being 00:00 showing on the game clock!). Once again the Raiders defense proved their overwhelming dominance. Standing just inside his twenty yardline, return specialist Max Mead fielded the LNC punt at the South Point nineteen. Weaving his way through traffic and following some outstanding blocks, Mead returned the punt 81 yards for the touchdown. The Raiders had extended their lead to 14-0 with Thomas Lempereur's PAT and the rout was on! Another first quarter possession, set up by a third Knights punt, would give South Point a great opportunity to add to the advantage. Beginning at the opponents 38, the Raiders pounded out yardage to the LNC 19 yardline. From there, Jake Alexander rumbled to his first score and South Point's third of the quarter. With 9 seconds remaining in the frame the Red Raiders had pushed the lead to 21-0 and three quarters of football remained.
The onslaught that began in the first carried over into the second quarter. A reasonably promising drive by the Knights was thwarted by a Max Mead interception. South Point took over at their 40 and efficiently marched to the LNC two. From there, Alexander bulled through the line for his second touchdown and a 28-0 lead. The clock read 6:23 before the half and the Raiders were confident that was plenty of time to add to the advantage. They were right! A quick three-and-out possession gave the Red their next scoring chance. Burning clock and picking up yardage, the Raiders drove to the Knights eight. Alexander burst through again and the Raiders maintained command at 35-0. The teams traded turnovers in the final 1:32 and went to the intermission with South Point in full control.
To begin the third, LNC managed a drive of 15 yards to their 36 and would turn the ball over on downs. The short field assisted the Red Raiders in collecting another Alexander touchdown, a dive from the one to send the Red out to 42-0 lead. At this point the game would be played with a live clock. The teams traded a couple of possessions to finish the third and as the fourth quarter approached South Point was able to give some reps to the backups.
In the final stanza, Keaton Hale took over at quarterback and he engineered a drive from near midfield to the Raiders final score of the contest. Naseen Jones carried a chunk of the load and managed a powerful two yard burst to end all scoring. South Point had soundly defeated Lake Norman Charter 48-0 to add to their all time dominance over the Knights.
It is not unprecedented when an underdog overcomes a heavy favorite and turns the sports world upside down. Such victories are said to be of Biblical proportions in reference to David's victory over Goliath. But the gridiron is hardly a setting where good faces evil, rather it's where two teams meet with a common goal, the desire to be victorious. South Point marched in, crushed the Knights, and came away with a convincing victory. The battle was won on the playing field with the Raiders grabbing their third straight conference victory. South Point will move forward, being careful not to underestimate any opponent. Preparation and focus will continue to be the keys to victory. And a deep playoff run will be the goal.
Go Get 'Em, Red!
Notable Facts and Thoughts
Next up for South Point is a matchup with the North Gaston. The Wildcats are long time rivals and are familiar with South Point's style of play. No secrets or surprises expected, this one will be won in the trenches.
JV Report by Calvin Craig
JV Red Raiders travel to Gastonia and upend the Jaguars, 16-6
October 13, 2016
The South Point JV squad continued conference play with another defeat another Gastonia team in the same week. Hurricane Matthew forced the JV squad to play Monday at home with Ashbrook whom they defeated and then turn around and play at Forestview Thursday night.
The team didn’t look like it was too tired of the quick turnaround as they handily beat the Jaguars by a ten point margin.
South Point took their opening possession 71 yards and capped a 9-play drive with a 15 yard touchdown run by Jamanni Leeper.
The South Point defense dominated the line of scrimmage stopping Jaguar runners behind the line of scrimmage and shutting out the offense in the 1st half.
South Point got on the board again in the 3rd quarter as C.J. Jennings intercepted a Jaguar passing attempt and raced 53 yard to the Forestview 12 yard line where South Point Quarterback Keaton Hale was able to race around the left end for a keeper to score 6 for the Red Raiders.
Kicker Cade Ratliff’s extra point kick was blocked, but should have had a flag called on the Forestview defender who was at least one yard offside and ran unabated to the South Point kicker who immediately jumped up after a weak and unnecessary hit.
Ratliff was able to get South Point three insurance points later by hitting a 25 yard field goal in the fourth quarter to close out the game’s scoring.
The JV squad (5-3; 3-1) will be off next week and return to play at North Gaston October 27.
JV Report by Calvin Craig
JV Red Raiders dominate Green Wave, 42-6
October 10, 2016
Hurricane Matthew rescheduled the home game with the JV Green Wave due to the potential for high winds and rain, however, the Red Raiders provided the thunder and the lightning scoring six times in the rout.
Quarterback Keaton Hale got the Red Raiders on the scoreboard first with a 71-yard touchdown run midway through the first quarter. The Red Raider defense then forced an interception and Jammani Leeper was able to cap the drive with a 9-yard touchdown run to put the Red Raiders up early 14-0.
The Green Wave got on the board with a touchdown of their own, but the Red Raiders capped their next drive with a 3-yard touchdown by Naseen Jones and the defense came up big again with an interception that set up Hale's second touchdown run of the night from 15 yards out to put South Point up 28-6.
The Red Raiders scored twice in the second half on a 5 yard Naseen Jones touchdown run and a C.J. Jennings 1 yard sweep around the right end to put the finishing touches on the evening 42-6.
The Green Wave did threaten to score in the 3rd quarter, but the Red Raider defense rose to the occassion stopping the Greenies on downs.