South Point Falls in OT...Jaguars Take Over Top Spot, 34-31

October 19, 2014

Perhaps the most accurate description of South Point's football season this year could be that it's been a roller coaster ride. Nothing that occurred Friday night in Lineberger Stadium changed that. In fact, some of the uncertainties that have called into question the likelihood that the team could win a conference championship became painfully evident during and after the 34-31 overtime loss to the Forestview Jaguars. This is not to imply that the team lacks the heart, desire and resolve to assure a successful season. Rather the implication is that this team has had to battle through adversities less common to Red Raider squads of the past. This year's team is uncharacteristically 1- 4 at home (3-0 road). This Red Raider team has been penalized no more than any other, yet the infractions this season seem to come at the most inopportune times and are thus more costly. It is said that teams can often "make" their own luck and there may be an element of truth in such a statement. Unfortunately the luck that the Raiders have been able to create this year has usually been bad! An example follows:

With their first possession, following a Forestview punt, South Point fumbled and the Jaguars recovered at the Red Raiders' thirty-seven. A few plays later, a sixteen yard touchdown pass opened the scoring, giving Forestview the early 6 point lead. In order to counter that measure of misfortune, South Point drove to their own 46 yardline. From there Jaquan Brooks made the perfect read on the triple option, kept the ball, cut to the outside and up the field for a 54 yard touchdown run! Max Neisler's extra point put the Raiders ahead 7-6 and seemed to set straight for the moment the "bad" that happened to South Point to begin the game. The Red 'D' took over and forced a Forestview punt and the Red offense was back on the field with momentum. The ground pounding attack of the Raiders was only slowed by the end of the first quarter.

To begin the second stanza, South Point had moved the ball to their own thirty-nine. From here the Raiders used the element of surprise in an effort to create some of their own good luck. Brooks dropped back and lofted a perfect spiral over the outside shoulder of Tanner Muse, racing down the left sideline. Muse grabbed the ball in stride and never stopped until he had advanced the South Point advantage. The Raiders led 14-6 and seemed to be easily muscling control of the contest. But this was a conference foe and the Jaguars were not going to go quietly. On a drive that began at their nineteen, Forestview took advantage of some Raider penalties (and the scrambling ability of an elusive quarterback) to even the score at 14 with a 34 yard touchdown pass. The "bad" had crept back in for the Raiders. The "worst" was about to be realized. On a five minute drive that would take the second quarter clock down to 00:19 and the Raiders saving a final timeout, Brooks attempted (and appeared to) spike the ball to kill the clock on a 2nd and goal play. The bean bag of the head linesman flew into the pile. A fumble had been called, recovered by the Jaguars with twelve seconds to go before halftime. Confusion ensued, tempers flared due to the aggravation of the call, and it is doubtful that a sufficient explanation was provided to the Raiders coaching staff. A spiked ball is for all intent and purposes akin to an incomplete pass designed to stop the clock. Forestview was awarded the ball and to add insult to injury the ball was moved out from the shadow of their endzone due to an unsportsmanlike conduct call against the Raiders. While the Jaguars could do nothing with the turnover, the damage had been done. South Point was poised to take the lead into the half and would receive the third quarter kickoff.

At the risk of appearing to offer excuses for the events that contributed to Friday night's loss, it may be notable to share, and certainly interesting to consider the explanation offered through conversation with the officiating crew during the intermission. It seems that the head linesman saw the ball leave Brooks' hands, bounce on the ground, and back up to the quarterback. At that split second, Brooks, in the official's opinion, attempted to grab the ball, but was unsuccessful. This made the play appear to be a fumble. (In his defense, he cannot assume a play, that is to say, he could not anticipate the spike of the ball. He can only react to what he sees.) When the ball was covered by the Jaguars, the play was blown dead as a fumble. And the scenario can only be described as "bad luck" for the Red Raiders.

With the opening possession of the third quarter, South Point erased the misfortune that ended the first half by putting together a seven minute drive to retake the lead. On the drive, the Raiders converted on two fourth down plays. Ryland Etherton picked up a first down on a fourth and one and then later scored a touchdown on a fourth and goal. South Point led 21-14 and after the Red 'D' forced the Jaguars to turn the ball over on downs, all that remained was to own the fourth quarter.

Driving from their own twenty to begin the final quarter, South Point crossed midfield. Another fumble would prove costly to the Red Raiders. Adding to the frustration of the fumbles was the fact that of the three lost by the Raiders, neither of the Jaguar recoveries were immediately obvious. All turnovers required the officiating crew to painstakingly contemplate who possessed the ball. Again, this is not offered as an excuse, rather simply an observation. The point is that without an evident and immediate call, doubt enters as to whom the possession should belong. (Ever wonder "how many times the ball changes hands inside the pile?"…anyway, enough about that.) With possession, Forestview tied the score, 21-21, with 5:26 remaining in regulation. The Red 'O' continued their charge in spite of the miscues. And when Jeffrey Pearsall broke free for a 37 yard touchdown run, the conference crown seemed all but certain. But with less than three minutes to go and desperation set in, Forestview called upon their scrambling quarterback and speedy receivers to knot the score. A 4 yard touchdown pass accomplished the inconceivable. The contest stood at 28-28 and South Point took a knee to close out regulation.

With the first possession of the overtime, the Red Raiders took the lead on a Neisler field goal but it would not be enough. In two plays the Jaguars had burst through to the endzone and dashed the outright championship hopes of South Point. The Red Raiders had fallen by a 34-31 score.

The roller coaster ride of the Red Raiders' football season continued on that established trend last Friday night at Lineberger Stadium. South Point can still hope to share the conference title, but will require help from Ashbrook, Hunter Huss, and/or East Gaston. A strange season could get stranger. And in that case it's always good to focus on the positives. One of those positives is that RaiderNation can rest assured that our Raiders haven't given up. Never have, NEVER will!

Got Get 'Em, Red!

Notable Facts & Thoughts

South Point finishes the conference season just as Forestview began it, with conference matchups against Lake Norman Charter, North Gaston, and Stuart Cramer…all winnable games. Forestview ends the conference season as South Point began it, with conference games against Ashbrook, Hunter Huss, and East Gaston…all losable games (hopefully that is, perhaps with the possible exception of one!)

JV Red Raiders throttle JV Forestview, 48-6

JV Report by Calvin Craig

In a complete turnaround from the previous week's performance and ending a two game losing streak, the JV South Point squad dominated their conference rival Forestview in all phases of the game: offense, defense and special teams.

The defense set the tone early with Nick Farmer scooping up an interception as the Jaguars drove into South Point territory and his return for touchdown started the Red Raiders scoring attack.

Forestview did answer with a touchdown run of their own, but that would be the end for the Jaguars as they were shut out the rest of the game.

Mario Brandon had two touchdowns on the night with his 4 yard touchdown run in the 2nd quarter and a 36 yard touchdown run to cap the scoring at the end of the game.

Ty Tinker scored a two yard touchdown run after his amazing kickoff return starting the 2nd half and quarterback Scottie Lee passed for two touchdowns in the game: one for 29 yards to Jake Alexander and one of 38 yards to Matthew Robinson.

Lee also scored on a 4 yard touchdown run in the 4th quarter.

The entire defense was on their game as they forced the Jaguars into interceptions and fumbles.

The JV Red Raiders (2-2, 3-4) will be at home next week against Lake Norman Charter.

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