Red Raiders Fall Short…Lincolnton Holds to Claim 14-13 Victory

August 31, 2014

A two-point conversion stood between South Point and potentially their first victory of the season last Friday night at Lineberger Stadium. Needing three yards, the Red Raiders gained two and a half and such was the margin of defeat. The pain of the loss was compounded by the fact that the Raiders had stepped up the level of play in the second half, in fact matching the shutout that Lincolnton had claimed in the first two quarters of play. The enthusiasm of the second half signaled promise for the future as South Point continues to fight through a challenging nonconference schedule. Lincolnton came in search of their first victory of the season and on a night in which they opted for an arguably different game plan from week one, the Wolves exercised ball control, keeping the Red offense off the field and out of rhythm. Looking more like a rugby scrum, Lincolnton ran behind a tight formation that kept the pressure on the Red defense.

With the opening possession, the Wolves chewed up over six minutes off the clock, scoring a go ahead touchdown at 7-0. South Point could muster little momentum in the opening moments, immediately punting after holding the ball for 1:25 on offense. The first quarter would quickly close as Lincolnton would carry their second drive of the game into the second stanza. The Raiders held but could do little with their own second possession, returning the ball to the Wolves at the 9:24 mark. A solid eight minute drive and touchdown pushed the Lincolnton lead to two scores, 14-0, and gave the Raiders notice of the hill they would need to climb to keep the game in check. The Raider offense was poised to take the field with just over a minute remaining in the half, for a chance to get on the board. Unfortunately they would not get the opportunity as Lincolnton successfully covered a line drive onside kick. The Red 'D' was able to hold the Wolves from a quick strike and so the score remained. For the second consecutive week the Red Raiders would need to find answers in the locker-room that would translate into better play on the field in the second half. The feeling was that it would be imperative, given the flow of the contest, that South Point score on the opening drive of the third quarter to turn the tide.

With possession at the South Point 32 yardline, the Red Raiders began a methodical march that indicated a determination to set things right on the field. The offensive line began to take control of the line of scrimmage, staying on their blocks longer to allow the ball carriers to read and make cuts for positive gains. The end result was a drive of just under five minutes and a touchdown. The ensuing extra point cut the lead to a manageable 14-7 with plenty of time remaining. The Wolves ground out yardage on their possession of an equal five minutes but the Raiders did not fold. Standing firm, the South Point defense forced a punt and shifted momentum squarely to their offensive teammates. Without missing a step, the Red 'O' drove deep inside Lincolnton territory but were unable to close the deal, turning the ball over on downs at the Wolves' one yardline. The possession had taken the game into the fourth quarter and perhaps more importantly the stalled drive could have taken some of the wind out of the Red Raiders' sails. But the team was able to make a remarkable recovery and force a Lincolnton punt on the next possession. With good field position at the Wolves' thirty-eight yardline, South Point appeared ready to take control of the contest. But sometimes even the best of circumstances turn for the worst! A Red Raider fumble was returned to the South Point thirty-six and in the blink of an eye Lincolnton appeared headed for excellent position to nail down the victory. But sometimes even the worst of circumstances turn for the best! A Wolves' fumble was recovered by South Point at the Red Raiders' thirty-six, breathing life back into the Red offense. The Raiders pounded out the yardage and eventually scored with 1:18 remaining in regulation. With momentum at home and a determined offense, South Point elected to go for the win with a two-point conversion attempt. Unfortunately, following a pair of timeouts by both teams, the Wolves were equal to the task. But for the distance of half a yard, the Raiders could have claimed their first victory, instead falling 14-13.

For the contest Lincolnton claimed an overwhelming edge in time of possession only to come away with a one point victory. And for the second straight week, South Point "won" the second half by holding the Wolves scoreless while scoring 13 points of their own. (In week one, the Red Raiders scored 13 in the second half and held Crest to 7) Moral victories, though, are of small consolation to a program steeped in a proud tradition of winning. Coach has emphasized that the goals of the season remain intact. Taking one game and one opponent at a time, while continuing to improve in practice and on the field will keep the Raiders focused on a conference title. Expect the "best" circumstances and an extra half yard in the weeks to come! Keep working, Red!

Go Get 'Em, Red!

Notable Facts and Thoughts

A renewed rivalry will call for renewed focus as the Red Raiders will seek their first win of the season next Friday night at Shelby. Fans familiar with this contest in the past attest to it being of the "knockdown, drag out" variety. Such would provide the perfect opportunity for the vocal leader of the Red Raiders to step up and take charge of "his" team. Get behind them RaiderNation!

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