Prep Football: Statesville 42, South Rowan 25
By Jim McNally
STATESVILLE — Football weather arrived just in time for the last game of the regular season for Statesville as it beat South Rowan handily in a game that featured a number of JV call-ups by both teams. With temperatures barely cracking the 40s and a persistent mist in the air, the Raiders had a hard time keeping their hands on the ball and the Greyhounds might have taken their collective head out the game in the second half.
Statesville capitalized on a number of South miscues to build a 42-6 lead that the Raiders rallied to away losing by a much closer 42-25.
And the play on the field may have reflected the cold air as fumbles, botched punts and interceptions lead to points for Statesville early and often. It also seemed hard for either team to find its tempo as roughly every other play had a penalty called on it.
Statesville opened the scoring about 4 minutes into the game on a on a 41-yard pass play from quarterback Tristan Mumford to wide receiver Justin Daniels. South Rowan got six of its own about five minutes later when Raider junior quarterback Nathan Lambert hit his favorite target, tight end Josh Medlin on a 22-yard pass play. Earlier in that drive Lambert connected with Medlin for 21 yards to set South Rowan’s record for passing yards.
Statesville took advantage of a botched punt recovered at the Raiders’ 10. Running back Treon Allison took it in for a quick score.
Mumford carried the ball in from two yards following an interception by Marquis Willis. Mumford hit wide receiver Alec Bowman near the end of the first half, following a Raiders fumble, to make it 28-6 at the mid-point.
Mumford and Allison scored on short running plays for a t42-6 lead.
It was then coach Randall Gusler put in some of his younger players, a move he may have made a bit too soon as the Raiders weren’t done playing football.
Just after the start of the fourth quarter Lambert found Medlin for a 23-yard touchdown. Five minutes later Lambert hit Jordan Kennerly for six and it was 42-19.
Then, as the clock expired in the game Lambert threw up a 44-yard bomb to senior receiver Logan Beck for his first touchdown of the season, which made the final score.
The game went as expected, however, as 6-4-1 Statesville hand South Rowan its ninth loss against one win. Both coaches were satisfied with the results.
“We came out and played well in the first half and then put in some new faces,” Gusler said and added that he was pleased with how the season unfolded. “We had a lot of injuries and lot to overcome this year and I’m hoping we can end up with a home playoff game. You have to be happy with that.”
South coach Jason Rollins said he was happy the team ended the game and season on “a good note” but acknowledged the season was not the kind you put too high up on your resume.
“You take the players you have and you do the best with them,” he said. “It’s not always about wins and losses on the field. Sometimes you have to look for other kinds of positives.”
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