High School Football: South Rowan, South Iredell delayed by weather
LANDIS — Qwantarius Rhyne had one heck of an opening night for South Rowan. Rhyne had a receiving touchdown, a fumble return for a touchdown and an 89-yard kickoff return that eventually led to a touchdown.
Whether those plays spark South Rowan to victory will be figured out Saturday evening.
With the Raiders leading 24-21 at the 8 minute, 25 second mark in the fourth quarter, loud bursts of thunder and bright flashes of lightning stopped the game. A thunderstorm rolled through the area forcing the teams into a weather delay. The game was called off because of field conditions. It will resume at 6 p.m. Saturday.
South Rowan took advantage of an out-of-sync South Iredell offense in the first half.
Down 7-3, South Rowan quarterback Aaron Kennerly floated a fade pass to Rhyne in the right corner for the four-yard touchdown play. The Raiders were ahead 10-7 with 7 minutes, 27 seconds left in the second quarter. The touchdown was part of a run of 24 unanswered points for the Raiders.
South Iredell started the ensuing drive on its own 20-yard line. Quarterback Marcus Guerrero, who stepped in for struggling starter Brennan Settle, ran an option play to the right side of the field. Guerrero pitched the ball at the line of scrimmage. The ball fell to the turf, and Rhyne was right there to make the scoop and score.
In a matter of seconds, South Rowan was ahead 17-7 and South Iredell was behind the 8-ball.
The Vikings held the ball for the closing minutes of the half. Freshman quarterback Brady Pope lined up in the backfield of the Vikings’ spread set. He was their third signal caller of the opening half of the season. The Raiders and Vikings combined for 51 total yards on offense in the first half. South Rowan had 14 total yards — 11 passing, three rushing — through the first two quarters. South Iredell ran for eight yards and threw for 29.
In the first half, South Iredell and South Rowan combined for five fumbles; losing one each. Settle was picked off twice on a pair of tipped passes before being replaced by Guerrero.
The momentum stayed with the Raiders at the start of the second half. Rhyne took the ball at the South Rowan 9 and took the ball right up the middle. He was taken down at the South Iredell 2. Three plays later, Kennerly found Travis Littlejohn on a slant for a one-yard touchdown pass, and South Rowan was ahead 24-7.
Troubles on special teams for South Rowan allowed the Vikings to get back in the game.
With the score still 24-7, South Rowan went three and out and lined up to punt on its own 42. South Iredell blocked it, and the ball bounced out of bounds at the Raiders’ 41. That led to a one-yard touchdown run by Holmes that cut the Raiders’ lead to 24-14.
South Rowan’s next drive did not yield a first down, and the Raiders set up to punt again. This time ball got loose after the snap. After it took a few South Iredell bounces, it was downed at the South Rowan 10. Holmes pounded his way into the end zone two plays later to cut the Vikings’ deficit to 24-21 with 1:25 left in the third quarter.
South Rowan had the ball again. The Raiders were driving down the field as they tried to get the momentum back in their favor.