By Charles Curcio, Sports Editor
Sunday, November 10, 2013 —
The end of the 2013 regular season for the football teams of South Stanly and Albemarle came on a frigid Friday in front of the football fans of both schools at the Bulldogs’ football stadium.
Both teams will qualify for the state 1A playoffs, but a win for Albemarle could potentially give the Bulldogs home field advantage through at least the first three rounds and possibly into the regional final as well.
Despite missing two of the team’s offensive threats, the Bulldogs amassed 554 total net yards of offense and ended the regular season with a 77-17 win over the Rebel Bulls.
The 77 points scored by Albemarle (8-3, 6-1 YVC) is the most points by the Bulldogs over a South Stanly team since the two schools started playing each other in 1971.
Albemarle was missing its leading running back K.J. McKinney and second-leading wide receiver Travis Bennett, who both were suspended from the game for disciplinary reasons.
The weight of the running game fell to the shoulders of Larry Stanback, who rushed nine times for 97 yards and two touchdowns. Robert Mack also added a touchdown and had 120 yards on only two carries, and quarterback Bryan Blanton added a rushing touchdowns as well.
Blanton’s biggest contributions came through the air as the senior threw for 242 yards and four touchdowns, all going to senior wideout Timmie White. White had eight catches for 222 yards, both seasons highs, while the four touchdown receptions are the most in one game in his high school career.
Albemarle’s “Oak Tree” Defense was solid despite allowing 17 points to the Bulls. The Bulldogs sacked South quarterback Luke Burris four times, two by E.J. Pemberton and sacks from Mack and Lee Autry. Autry also led the defense with 12 tackles, with Mack adding 11. Jalyn Lilly also added a 33-yard interception return at the end of the third.
The 17 points scored by South Stanly (3-8, 3-5) were the most that the Bulls have scored against Albemarle since the 2001 season, when South scored 19 points in a 49-19 loss.
Montrell Brewer had two big kickoff returns in the game that set up the Bulls on short fields, including in the first quarter.
After the Bulldogs took a 7-0 lead on a five-play, 76-yard drive capped off by Stanback’s first touchdown of the night, Brewer returned the ensuing kickoff down to the Albemarle 15-yard line. Six plays later, Burris found Dakota Lewellen on a swing pass on fourth down to tie the game 7-7.
Stanback’s second touchdown run came late in the first, set up by a Mack 65-yard run on a dive play straight up the middle to put the Bulldogs up for good.
In the second quarter, the Bulldogs exploded for four touchdowns, including three passing TDs via the Blanton-White connection.
South’s Bernardo Granados added a 32-yard field goal for South after another long return by Brewer on a kickoff.
The third quarter was all Albemarle as the Bulldogs did not allow South a first down on offense while scoring five touchdowns in the frame.
“Bryan and Timmie White were definitely on the same page tonight,” Albemarle head coach Seth Smith said, adding that a big factor in the win was taking care of hte football, noting that the Bulldogs did not have a turnover in the game.
The Bulldogs will be at home on Friday night in the opening round of the state 1A playoffs.
Editor’s Note: Please see www.thesnaponline.com to find out Albemarle’s first-round opponent on Friday.
SS 7 3 0 7 17
A 14 28 35 0 77
A – Larry Stanback 48 run (Mason Krol kick), 10:06, 1st
SS – Dakota Lewellen 6 pass from Luke Burris (Bernardo Granados kick), 7:07, 1st
A – Stanback 2 run (Krol kick), :22, 1st
A – Timmie White 67 pass from Bryan Blanton (Krol kick), 9:41, 2nd
A – Blanton 7 run (Krol kick), 6:24, 2nd
A – White 27 pass from Blanton (Krol kick), 4:37, 2nd
SS – Granados FG 32, 3:29, 2nd
A – White 43 pass from Blanton (Krol kick), :34, 2nd
A – Robert Mack 55 run (Krol kick), 9:15, 3rd
A – White 26 pass from Blanton (Krol kick), 6:39, 3rd
A – A.J. Harris 8 run (Krol kick), 3:56, 3rd
A – Germarcus Sellers 13 run (Krol kick), 1:01, 3rd
A – Jaylyn Lilly 33 interception return (Krol kick), :00, 3rd
SS – Cody Thompson 5 pass from Burris (Granados kick), :30, 4th
1st Downs 9 23
Rushing 45-29 25-312
Passing 54 242
C-A-I 6-17-2 10-13-0
Punts 7-26.0 3-25.3
Penalties 5-45 7-62
Fum.-Lst. 4-3 1-0
3rd Down 3-16 0-3
4th Down 2-3 0-0
TOP 31:16 16:54
Rushing: SS – Holt 12-19; Lewellen 11-7; Burris 8-(-26); Horton 7-18; Johnson 4-22; Lomax 1-0; Brewer 1-(-11). A – Stanback 9-97, 2 TD; Blanton 5-22, TD; Sellers 4-45, TD; Mack 2-120, TD; Emery 2-28; Harris 1-8; Ellis 2-(-8).
Passing: SS – Burris 6-17, 54 yds, 2 TD 2 int. A – Blanton 10-13, 242 yds., 4 TD.
Receiving: SS – Lewellen 2-12, TD; Holt 1-24; Pope 1-15; Thompson 1-5; Parsons 1-(-2). A – White 8-222, 4 TD; Ridenhour 1-14; Stanback 1-6..