By J.W. Houston, for the SNAP
Sunday, September 15, 2013 —
After struggling in its first two games to open the season, the South Stanly football team felt it could open its Yadkin Valley Conference slate at North Moore with a victory Friday. The host Mustangs are in the midst of a 34-game losing skid on the field, dating back to the last game of the 2009 season.
However, North Moore played anything like a team that had dropped 34 straight games on the field, especially the first half. The Mustangs outgained the Rebel Bulls by nearly 100 yards, and both teams went into the halftime break tied at 14.
South Stanly coach Tasker Fleming made some adjustments during the break, deciding to line it up and play smash-mouth football, running only plays between the tackles. The adjustment paid off as the Bulls scored 20 unanswered points, giving them a 34-14 victory.
“Our line played much better in the second half, and we had some runners step up and made some good plays,” Fleming said.
“North Moore is a much improved team and was well prepared. We were able to get off the ball better in the second half and our pass defense played better.”
The Bulls (1-2, 1-0 YVC) played without junior running back Montrell Brewer in the second half after Brewer ran 41 yards for the game’s first touchdown and then ran back a 94-yard kickoff to tie the game at 14 just before the end of the half.
The Mustangs received the opening kickoff and managed to pick up one first down before being forced to punt. After the North Moore punter got off a short punt, it gave the Bulls great field position at the Mustangs 48-yard line. On third down, Brewer found a seam to the right, hit the sideline and raced 41 yards for the score. Senior left-footed kicker Bernardo Granadas booted the first of his four extra points, putting his team up 7-0 with less than five minutes gone off the clock.
North Moore responded with a little trickery when wide receiver Kirby Lambert took the handoff and found sophomore Aaron Richardson for a 38-yard pass completion on the Bulls’ a 42-yard line. Two plays later, an interference penalty was called on South Stanly, putting the Mustangs at the Bulls’ 13-yard line. North Moore sophomore quarterback Malik McCrimmon found Pat Harner three plays later for a 10-yard scoring strike. Pedro Agarte-Lopez connected for the first of his two extra points, tying the game 7-7.
Sawyer Lee got a good kickoff return for the Bulls giving good field position at the Mustangs’ 31-yard line. But North Moore’s defense rose to occasion, forcing South to attempt a 41-yard field goal that was short.
The two teams exchanged a pair of offensive possessions before the Mustangs got the ball on their 16-yard line. A motion penalty moved the ball to the 11. With McCrimmon connecting on a couple of passes to Richardson and Lambert, the Mustangs moved to their 47. That’s when McCrimmon and Harner hooked up for their second touchdown of the game. The extra point gave the Mustangs their first lead of the season at 14-7 with 2:48 left in the first half.
But the lead didn’t last as Brewer gathered the ensuing kickoff at his 6-yard line, found an opening going the distance for a 94-yard touchdown return. Granadas tied the contest at 14 with his extra-point kick.
Southreceived the second-half kickoff and wasted no time establishing its running game with sophomore Dakota Lewellen and senior Joston Horton taking turns carrying the ball up the middle. It took the Bulls seven plays to march 60 yards for the go-ahead score with junior quarterback Luke Burris running the final three yards for the first of his two touchdowns, putting his team up 21-14 with 9:32 left in the third quarter.
The Bulls got the ball back in good field position after a bad Mustang punt, but were unable to move the ball and Granadas missed a 40-yard field goal attempt.
Another short North Moore punt on the ensuing possession gave South good field position at the Mustangs’ 46. It took the Bulls 10 plays to march the distance with Horton going five yards for the touchdown with :19 left in the third.
South’s final touchdown came with 9:02 left when Burris galloped 14 yards, giving South the 34-14 victory.
South hosts Central Academy on Friday night at 7:30 p.m.
SS 7 7 14 6 34
NM 7 7 0 0 14
SS – Montrell Brewer 41 run (Bernardo Granados kick), 7:28, 1st
NM – Pat Harner 10 pass from Malik McCrimmon (Pedro Agarte-Lopez kick), 5:24, 1st
NM – Harner 53-yard pass from McCrimmon (Lopez kick), 2:48, 2nd
SS – Brewer 94-yard kickoff return (Granados kick), 2:32, 2nd
SS – Luke Burris 3 run (Granados kick), 9:32, 3rd
SS – Joston Horton 5 run (Granados kick), :19, 3rd
SS – Burris 14 run (Granados kick), 9:02, 4th
1st Downs 14 14
Rushing 34-239 24-59
Passing 16 202
C-A-I 2-9-0 18-39-0
Punts 3-29.3 5-23.4
Penalties 8-53 7-40
Fum.-Lst. 1-0 0-0
Rushing: SS – Brewer 7-64, TD; Horton 8-54, TD; Lewellen 10-42; Burris 9-39, 2 TD. NM – James Bond 13-42; McCrimmon 6, Harner 4, Beck 1, Nall 6, Lambert 0.
Passing: SS – Burris 2-9, 16 yds. NM – McCrimmon 17-37, 164 yds., 2 TD.
Receiving: SS – Lee 1-12; Coley 1-4. NM – Richardson 8-90; Harner 5-87, 2 TD; Lambert 4-30; Rush 1-5.