By Charles Curcio, Sports Editor
Sunday, September 29, 2013 —
For the first quarter and much of the second half Friday night at Kermit L. Young Stadium on the South Stanly campus, the Rowdy Rebel Bulls held firm and kept the visiting Union Academy Cardinals off the scoreboard, combining a time-consuming, effective ground game with a defense that kept the visitors at bay.
However, two mistakes on special teams combined with a strong Union Academy passing attack led to a 35-0 loss Friday night for South Stanly.
The second quarter of Friday’s game, the first football game ever between the two schools, offset a strong defensive effort for the Rebel Bulls (1-4, 1-1 YVC) who played well in stretches in the game. South’s defense held Union Academy to 79 net yards in the second half and kept the Cardinals off the scoreboard.
Union Academy appeared to score a special teams touchdown in the fourth quarter when a Cardinal punt was fumbled into the endzone by South and recovered by the visitors. The officials ruled the punt was muffed and could not be scored as a touchdown.
South’s offense struggled to move the football against the Cardinals (3-2, 2-1) early in the game, gaining a total net yardage of 75 yards in the game. Many of those yards came in the second half as the Bulls totaled -4 net yards in the first half.
The game started well for the Rebel Bulls, holding the Cardinals without a first down on their opening drive while starting the first South drive at the Bulls’ 48-yard line. South moved the football down to as far as the Cardinal 42, taking five minutes off the clock, before being pushed backward on a penalty and a sack.
Union Academy went three-and-out on their second drive, but South did as well, and the Cardinals’ started their next drive at the Union 45-yard line.
The feet of Cardinal quarterback Craig Twele carried Union Academy to its first touchdown of the game on a 2:53, seven-play drive covering 55 yards and going into the second quarter.
Twele scrambled for gains of 11 and 28 yards, moving the ball down to the South 11. Two plays later, after a delay of game penalty, Maliq Pando sprinted down the Union sideline and made a great over-the-shoulder catch for a 16-yard touchdown. Aharon Gonzales’ extra point put the Cards up 7-0 with 10:20 left in the first half.
South went three-and-out on its next possession and the Cardinals got the ball back on the Union 40-yard line. Six plays later, Twele found Logan Pautz in the endzone for a 14-0 Cardinals lead.
The first of two special teams mistakes set up Union with a short field after South was forced to punt on the Bulls’ next possession. An 11-yard punt gave the Cardinals the ball at the South 34-yard line. Five plays later, Pando got behind the South defense and hauled in a 20-yard pass for a touchdown.
On the Bulls’ next possession, the South punter appeared to go down to one knee to pick up a low snap and was whistled down on the play, giving the Cardinals the ball in the redzone. Manasseh Missick scored three plays later from one yard out for a 28-0 lead.
Union Academy scored the last touchdown of the game on its final drive. With fourth-and-goal at the South 5-yard line and the clock running out, Twele rolled to his right to look for a receiver. After falling down in the endzone, Pautz got back up and caught Twele’s pass for the touchdown.
In the third quarter, Union played the field-position game, keeping South pinned deep while putting together a long five-minute drive that ended in a missed 20-yard field goal early in the fourth.
South’s deepest drive of the game was its last drive when quarterback Luke Burris completed four passes, three to Ryan Coley, and scrambled for 16 yards as well driving the Bulls down to the Cardinal 28-yard line. However, the drive ended on Burris’ second interception of the night and the Cardinals ran out the clock for the win.
The loss drops South Stanly a half-game behind Union Academy and East Montgomery for fifth place in the Yadkin Valley Conference standings.
South will travel to East Montgomery this coming Friday night. The Eagles won 27-0 at Chatham Central on Friday.
UA 0 35 0 0 35
SS 0 0 0 0 0
UA – Maliq Pando 16 pass from Craig Twele (Aharon Gonzales kick), 10:20, 2nd
UA – Logan Pautz 28 pass from Twele (Gonzales kick), 7:29, 2nd
UA – Pando 20 pass from Twele (Gonzales kick), 4:42, 2nd
UA – Manasseh Missick 1 run (Gonzales kick), 2:30, 2nd
UA – Pautz 5 pass from Twele (Gonzales kick), :00, 2nd
1st Downs 18 6
Rushing 37-142 26-49
Passing 198 26
C-A-I 12-20-0 5-20-2
Punts 4-42.0 6-29.5
Penalties 7-65 5-25
Fum.-Lst. 1-0 3-0
3rd Down 5-14 1-12
4th Down 1-1 2-4
TOP 25:44 22:16
Rushing: UA – Twele 12-90; Missick 10-14, TD; Almeida 7021; Schneider 5-22; Berg 1-2; Wilkinson 2-(-7). SS – J. Horton 5-26; Burris 7-16; Lewellen 7-10; Lee 3-8; Johnson 2-7; Granados 1-(-4); TEAM 1-(-14).
Passing: UA – Twele 12-20, 198 yds., 4 TD. SS – Burris 5-20, 26 yds., 2 int.
Receiving: UA – Pando 5-82, 2 TD; Pautz 3-67, 2 TD; Schneider 2-33; Almeida 2-14. SS – Coley 4-27; Smith 1-(-1).