LANDIS–When the South Rowan vs. South Iredell football game was washed out Friday night, everyone went home and went to bed. The teams had to meet again Saturday in Landis to finish what they started.
South Rowan head coach Jason Rollins had trouble sleeping Friday night. He estimated he didn’t get more than an hour. Qwan Rhyne didn’t have that problem.
“We just wanted to come out with the same intensity and get ready to win,” Rhyne said.
South Rowan’s Joey Stanback scored one touchdown Saturday for the Raiders. South Rowan held off the Vikings to open the season with a 31-21 victory at home. The win snapped a 14-game losing streak, the longest in school history.
“We’re 1-0. We have decided that we are taking on a new era and a new idea and a new belief in what we’re doing; not only on the field but in our school and in our community,” Rollins said. “As far as the past, till you said that, I hadn’t even thought about (the streak).”
South Rowan travels to Kannapolis to take on A.L. Brown. in Week 2.
Saturday’s lone touchdown was set up by a miscue by South Iredell’s special teams. The Raiders were ahead 24-21 with less than three minutes to go in the game. The Vikings had just held them to a three-and-out in South Iredell territory. Marshall Long boomed the ball down inside the Vikings’ 10. The ball was fumbled and South Rowan recovered.
Stanback ran outside to the left on the next play for the game-clinching touchdown with 2:35 left in the game.
“(The lead blocker) had a pretty good block, and there was people coming for him,” Stanback said, “but I had to get in there, so I just dove right in.”
South Iredell tried to march its way down field as time ran out. On fourth-and-11 from the Vikings’ 35, freshman quarterback Brady Pope looked deep. He had a receiver down the sideline. Rhyne was in coverage on that incomplete pass as well.
It was one more big play by a senior that was full of them in the Raiders’ season opener. On Friday, Rhyne scored the Raiders’ first touchdown of the season on a pass from Aaron Kennerly, the second on a 20-yard scoop and score, and set up the third when he returned the opening kickoff of the second half 89 yards. He was stopped at the South Iredell 2.
“Q is not just a great kid, but a great athlete, and we knew we had in positions where he could make plays on both sides of the ball,” Rollins said. “That’s what’s unique about Q.”
South Rowan’s offense was held in check by South Iredell’s defense. The Raiders had just 57 total yards of offense and three first downs. Stanback was the Raiders’ rushing leader with 45 yards and a touchdown on seven carries. Jamoyra Cousin carried the ball 22 times for minus-1 yard. Kennerly passed for 21 yards and two touchdowns on 4-of-11 passing.
South Iredell was one yard shy of doubling South Rowan’s total yards on offense. Running back Chris Holmes carried the ball 23 times for 106 yards and two touchdowns.
The Vikings had trouble holding onto the ball. Starting quarterback Brennan Settle was intercepted twice on Friday. Backup Marcus Guerrero’s first play from scrimmage turned into Rhyne’s scoop and score. There was also the muffed punt at the end of the game.