North Rowan falls big at South Iredell
Published 11:22 pm Friday, September 16, 2016
By DOUG POWELL
TROUTMAN – Brady Pope passed for four touchdowns and the South Iredell defense forced three first-half turnovers while pitching a shut out in the second half, and the Vikings dominated the visiting North Rowan Cavaliers, 49-13, on Friday night.
Pope finished 25 of 34 passing for 299 yards with passing scores to Lundon White, Trey Page and two to Jeremiah McMillian. Pope had a string of 11 straight completions during the game and it was the second time in as many weeks he threw for four touchdowns.
Take out a meaningless 41-yard run by the Cavaliers’ Jaleel Webster (16 carries for 92 yards) on their final drive, and the Vikings defense held North Rowan to just 63 rushing yards.
Without a balanced attack, North Rowan (3-2) was forced to go to the air without much success.
North Rowan quarterback Corbin Smith threw two interceptions – one in the first quarter and one in the second quarter – and finished 11 of 26 for 140 yards and two touchdowns. After Pope lost a fumble on South Iredell’s third possession, defensive back Hasim Hall picked Smith on North Rowan’s first play of the ensuing drive to set up a six-play Vikings drive that ended with Pope’s second touchdown pass of the half – a 5-yard pass to McMillian. Two of McMillian’s four catches went for touchdowns. He hauled in the only score of the fourth quarter – a 40-yard pass from Pope – with 6 minutes left to put the Vikings up 49-13.
Smith threw another interception – this time to Matt Halsey – who returned it to the North Rowan 16-yard line to put the Vikings in the red zone. South Iredell needed just two plays after that to go up 30-7 with 4 minutes, 6 seconds left in the second quarter when running back Tavis White scored on an 11-yard run. Outside of a 61-yard run on his fifth carry, White was bottled up for most of the game but managed to pick up his first 100-yard rushing game of the season with 13 carries for 110 yards.
South Iredell’s 20-0 lead in the first quarter with 3 minutes, 13 seconds remaining was too much for the Cavaliers to overcome. Pope capped an opening 11-play drive with a 32-yard TD pass on fourth down to White to go up 7-0 after the Josh Wingler extra point. After a fumble recovery from a squib kick on the kickoff, the Vikings went up 13-0 after Dydrion Leach plowed ahead for a 1-yard rushing score. White led the Vikings receiving corps with seven catches for 107 yards. Leach also scored on a 4-yard run to close out the third quarter.
North Rowan trailed, 13-0, before it ever touched the ball on offense. South Iredell’s defense forced six three-and-out’s by the Cavaliers and six more punts. Most of North Rowan’s offensive success in the game came off of screen plays on the edges to utilize the speed of its receivers. Desmond Gray benefitted the most off the plays, scoring on a 61-yard pass from Smith in the first quarter and finishing with six catches for 132 yards.