South Stanly evens record with road win

Published 9:16 am Monday, September 11, 2023

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Things are looking up for the South Stanly varsity football program.

First-year head coach Terry Shankle and the Rebel Bulls went on the road to South Davidson Friday night looking to end a seven-game road losing streak and did just that in a 26-14 win.

The Bulls are 2-2 for the first time since finishing the abbreviated 2021 spring football season with the same record. South Stanly had also not been 2-2 to start a season since 2019.

South Stanly got out to a good start with an early 6-0 lead on a 20-yard touchdown pass from Kaleb Richardson to Jasiah Holt just over five minutes into the opening quarter.

South Davidson (3-1) answered with a long drive capped off with a one-yard plunge by QB Tanner Delattre.

The Wildcats led into halftime, but the Bulls rallied in the third quarter. With 4:57 left in the quarter, Richardson found Holt again for a 15-yard TD pass. Richardson then got the two-point conversion to put South Stanly up 14-7.

Near the end of the third, a bad punt snap for South Stanly was recovered by the Wildcats in the end zone to tie the game 14-14.

The teams battled into the waning minutes of regulation tied before the Bulls again surged ahead. Carter Calicutt dodged tacklers in the middle of the field and went 15 yards for a touchdown. The two-point conversion failed, leaving South Stanly ahead 20-14.

However, the Wildcats were not done yet. South Davidson got a long pass play down to the Bulls’ 25-yard line. Later, facing 4th down and eight at the 23 with 42 seconds left, Delattre rolled to his right to pass but threw into double coverage. Mahari Caple picked off the pass and went 84 yards for a pick-six touchdown to seal the win.

“It was a solid win for us,” Shankle said. “The guys showed composure and battled through adversity.”

“I’m pleased with the way our younger players have stepped up and embraced the roles we need them to play. My older players and seniors continue to develop as leaders on and off the field, which is critical for us.”

He added the team “has some things to clean up on special teams” as South returns home Friday for a non-conference game with the Wheatmore Warriors (2-2). Wheatmore won at Bishop McGuinness Friday night 15-4.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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