Prep Football: South Rowan 76, Statesville 22
By Steve Huffman
firstname.lastname@example.orgLANDIS ó They let the clock run nonstop in the second half Friday night, which was probably for the best.
Otherwise, this thing could have gotten a tad out of hand.
South Rowan laid a 76-22 whomping on Statesville at Donnell Stadium, in the process setting a single-game school scoring record. The previous high-water mark for the Raiders was a 70-0 pasting of Mooresville in 1978.
“We’ve been trying for four years and we finally got it,” South’s Quan Glaspy said of that scoring record. “Everybody just stepped up tonight.”
Glaspy scored twice, but the night’s star was teammate Thomas Lowe who carried 13 times for 182 yards and four touchdowns despite doing little more than serving as cheerleader in the second half.
South’s defense also came up huge, with Donte Henderson and Blake Houston nabbing interceptions, and Brandon Ledbetter and Kyle Rolla scoring off Greyhound fumbles.
Rolla’s score came on the second play of the third quarter when Statesville quarterback Carlis Parker dropped the ball and a battle for the pigskin ensued. Rolla, a senior defensive lineman, had the presence of mind to grab it clean and carry about 20 yards for a touchdown.
“I saw the ball on the ground, picked it up and started sprinting,” Rolla said. “I just tried to scoop and score.”
He said he’s played football since seventh grade, but Friday marked the first time he’s scored.
“Incredible,” Rolla said after the game, grinning as he accepted congratulations from teammates and family members.
Then he paused to take in his surroundings before repeating, “It’s pretty incredible.”
The game was something of a contest for the first few minutes.
On the game’s first play, South quarterback Houston lateraled to Glaspy who uncorked a 45-yard pass to Dylan Walker, who was hauled down at the Greyhound 15. But the play was called back because of a hold.
Never mind, the Raiders needed just eight plays to march for the first score, Lowe carrying in from 2 yards out. Lowe also carried on the biggest play of the drive, cracking a 20-yard gain when South (8-2, 4-1 NPC) faced a fourth-and-2 situation at the Greyhound 22.
Following the kick, Statesville (3-7, 1-4) responded with one of its few offensive marches of the night, driving into Raider territory with a couple of first downs.
But Houston (who also plays quarterback for South) thwarted the drive with an interception, returning the ball from the South 25 to the Statesville 40.
Three plays later, the Raiders were in the end zone again, Glaspy carrying in from 7 yards out. The game was never in much doubt after that, South moving out to a whopping 35-6 lead after Mark McDaniel returned a kick 75 yards for score on the final play of the first quarter.
By halftime, the Raider lead had swelled to 55-6.
Lowe, who led the Raiders with 182 yards, said South’s offensive line deserved the credit.
“The boys up front came out and took charge early,” he said.
Several of the Raiders said the win was redemption from a year ago when South turned the ball over five times in a 24-21 loss to Statesville.
“They’re a really fast team,” Houston said of the Greyhounds. “We never expected anything like this.”
South coach Jason Rollins agreed.
“We had a bad game last year when we played them and we wanted to prove something tonight,” he said. “We knew we were better than we showed a year ago.”
Rollins said that despite being up by such a healthy margin at halftime, he stressed to his team at the break the importance of playing with intensity the final two quarters.
Rollins noted that South led Carson 32-0 last week, but struggled down the stretch in a 46-21 victory.
“I told the boys, ‘You can’t go out and give up like last week,’ ” he said. “I told them we had to finish what we’d started.”
Rollins said he was aware that Friday’s game established a new scoring record for the Raiders, but said the mark didn’t mean a lot to the coaches.
“I’m sure it’s great for the community and the kids,” he said. “But we’ve got a lot more to worry about.”
NOTES: South travels to East Rowan for a cross-county showdown next Friday that will decide second place in the NPC. … South has outscored its three Iredell County opponents 174-28.
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