Prep Football Roundup: Two straight for South, Hornets fall on road, Wonders win again
From staff reports
LANDIS — South Rowan coach Daniel Yow didn’t realize until he read Friday’s paper that South Rowan had never beaten Thomasville in football.
But now the Raiders are 1-13 against the Bulldogs. They finally broke through on Friday, the 13th, scoring in the fourth quarter on a long punt return by Kory Sellers to win, 29-25.
“We ran the ball well and we made a lot of big plays,” South coach Daniel Yow said. “It was getting chippy at the end, almost out of control, but our guys did a great job of keeping their composure and finishing the win.”
South has won two in a row for the first time since 2009.
South (2-6, 2-3 Central Carolina Conference) was trailing 6-0 when Demarcus Blackwell punched in a tying TD with 3:10 left in the first quarter. Blackwell ran for a 2-point conversion, and the Raiders owned their first lead.
South’s defense pinned Thomasville deep, and Emilio Bernal intercepted a pass at the Thomasville 6-yard line. That pick set up a scoring run by Marquis Rhyne early in the second quarter, and the Raiders led, 15-6.
With South clinging to a 15-12 lead late in the first half, DB Christian Reynolds made a game-swinging play. He intercepted a pass in South’s end zone and took it 100-plus yards to score.
“We had great blocking on that return, and every block was legal,” Yow said. “Christian hit the sideline and he was gone.”
South led 22-12 at halftime, but the Bulldogs (1-7, 1-5 CCC) owned the third quarter and grabbed a 25-22 lead.
Thomasville still had that three-point lead late, but with under five minutes left, Sellers fielded a punt and went 85 yards to score.
After that, South’s defense held.
“The player of the game might’ve been our quarterback (Brett Amburn),” Yow said. “He didn’t score any touchdowns, but he probably had over 100 rushing yards. He just kept getting first downs for us.”
Ledford 27, Salisbury 0
Information provided by Daniel Kennedy of the Thomasville Times
Salisbury suffered its first Central Carolina Conference setback on Friday.
The Hornets (5-2, 4-1) were pounded at Ledford, 27-0. The Panthers stayed undefeated in the CCC.
Ledford back Donnovan Williams atoned for two first-quarter fumbles, carrying 34 times for 170 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, Salisbury was unable to find its footing against a stifling Ledford defense. The Hornets leaned heavily on an ineffective running game, as they attempted just six passes in the first half, completing one. At halftime, the visitors had just 46 yards of total offense and trailed 7-0.
“We had a discussion at halftime,” Panthers coach Chris Doby said. “I think we had two turnovers, and I think our defense coming in was plus-6 or 7 in the turnover category. Our focus has been can we get some more takeaways.”
A pair of Levaric Johniken fumble recoveries prevented Ledford from sustaining promising drives in the first quarter. Following the fumbles that ended each of the Panthers’ first two possessions, Coleman Reich, a junior safety committed to UNC, was inserted at tailback and quickly ripped off two first-down runs.
Later in the drive, Reich had a key 5-yard run on fourth-and-1 that set up the first score of the game, a 23-yard touchdown pass from Matt Rogers to Walker Lackey.
Ledford began the second half with an interception by Evan Spencer that gave the team a short field. The offense capitalized with an eight-play, 40-yard drive capped by a 19-yard touchdown run by Williams that made the score 14-0.
Linebacker David Wetherington ended a Salisbury drive on the ensuing possession when he picked off a pass by Griffin Myers in the red zone. Myers had just completed a 50-yard pass to Trell Baker to the Ledford 21.
Ledford added a 28-yard field goal to extend the lead to 17-0. Reich intercepted a third Myers pass early in the fourth quarter, effectively rendering the three-score deficit insurmountable for Salisbury. Williams tacked on his second rushing touchdown a nd Hunter Braswell rounded out the scoring with a 47-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter.
Brown 21, Cox Mill 7
The Wonders won their sixth straight game on Friday, beating South Piedmont Conference rival Cox Mill, on the road.
The Wonders (7-1, 2-0 SPC) got their three touchdowns on the ground.
Jordan Medley’s 27-yard run finished an 80-yard scoring drive for a 7-0 A.L. Brown lead.
Cox Mill, which beat Concord last week, made it 7-all, but Jalen Neal’s rushing TD gave the Wonders a 14-7 lead at halftime.
Terry Anderson broke a 58-yard scoring run for a 21-7 lead early in the third quarter, and the Wonders’ defense did the rest.
Malik Keller, who is making a habit of blocking kicks, batted down a Cox Mill field-goal try.