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Prep Football: South battered by Bulls

By Mike London
mike.london@salisburypost.com

LANDIS — South Rowan’s 55-0 loss to Hickory Ridge on Friday sounds bad, and it was worse than it sounds.
It was 21-0 before six minutes had been played in the South Piedmont Conference game. It was 35-0 after nine minutes, and Hickory Ridge reserves helped extend the lead to 55-0 by halftime.
Before it was over, Hickory Ridge had a kid (Garrett Williams) who wasn’t on the roster making 25-yard runs and had a reserve cornerback who wore No. 95 (Jonathan Allen) making an interception.
The NCHSAA running-clock rule made a scoreless second half zoom by at breakneck speed. It was a rule welcomed by everyone assembled on a bleak, windy night at Donnell Stadium.
“That was the worst performance we’ve had in my two years,” South coach Daniel Yow said somberly. “We just didn’t perform.”
South quarterback Austin Chrismon went down with a shoulder/collar bone injury in the first quarter when he was hit hard near the South sideline. That injury ended any chance South (1-8, 1-6 SPC) had of moving the ball.
Backup QB Frankie Caraccio’s efforts were valiant, and he completed a 37-yard pass in the second half to Daevonne Harris for South’s biggest gain.
“Frankie did everything he could’ve done,” Yow said.
A lot of the bad things that happened to the Raiders were due to Hickory Ridge (7-2, 5-2 SPC) playing crisp football, especially early.
Even with the fast-forward second half, Hickory Ridge had over 400 yards of offense, while limiting South to 47. South had negative yardage in the first half.
“We made it a point all week that we were not going to take anything for granted, and we were well-prepared and ready to go,” Hickory Ridge coach Jason Seidel said. “Our kids were sharp, sharp from the jump. Starts have been a problem, but we had the best start we’ve had all year.”
South went three-and-out to start the game and punted.
Hickory Ridge went nowhere on its first two plays, but on third-and-11, QB Trevor Shue tossed a strike to a wide-open Jarrett Garner for a 53-yard touchdown.
Hickory Ridge followed with an onside kick that caught South by surprise.
“Sometimes when you score, the other team’s heads get down, and we’d planned for the onside kick after the first score,” Seidel said. “It had a chance to be successful because of South’s alignment, and (Gavin) Minor made a perfect kick.”
Three snaps later, Shue was racing for the end zone. It was 14-0, and the rout was on.
Then Hickory Ridge’s defense pinned the Raiders, and Brock Angel made a short punt return for a TD.
After a quick scoring run by Michael Daniels and a Shue touchdown pass to Michael Leary it was 35-0 with three minutes left in the first quarter.
Hickory Ridge’s defense kept getting turnovers and punishing the Raiders. When Shue’s third TD pass of the night was grabbed by Zion Sheriff just 23 seconds into the second quarter, the Bulls led the shell-shocked Raiders, 42-0.
“Our defense has been strong all year, and they kept getting us the ball in great field position,” Seidel said.
A 73-yard touchdown pass by backup QB Dylan Ratliff to Stedman Graham and a scoring run by Jeremiah Boyd made it 55-0 before the break.
South had some positive plays in the second half, including 11 and 13-yard runs for first downs by Sayquan Anthony, but the Bulls had no trouble maintaining the shutout.
It was the fifth straight league win for Hickory Ridge, which started SPC play with losses to Robinson and Concord in early September.
“We feel like we should’ve won them all,” Seidel said.
South will try to regroup for a Senior Night game against Robinson next week.
“Absolutely, Hickory Ridge is a good team and they came in here fired up,” Yow said. “But nothing hurts worse than knowing exactly what the opposing team is going to do, preparing all week to stop them, and then not stopping them.”

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