High school football: Spiders get control early against South

Published 1:19 pm Sunday, October 8, 2023


Staff report

CONCORD — Concord bounced back from a loss at Carson and won more easily than expected against a South Rowan team that took some momentum into Friday’s game on EZ Smith Field at Bailey Stadium.

The Spiders, who were celebrating homecoming, jumped ahead with two quick touchdowns and rolled 38-3 in the South Piedmont Conference contest.

“Small things hurt us,” South coach Chris Walsh said. “Missed tackles on defense, penalties killed drives on offense. Small things will win it or lose it, and they lost this one for us.”

The game actually began exactly the way South (3-5, 1-3) wanted it to. Landon Richards slugged out 9 yards on South’s first snap. On South’s second play, he got 9 more.

But his third carry was the biggest play of the night. Richards had gained about 4 yards when he was hit by a host of Spiders. He appeared to be down when the ball popped out, but officials didn’t see it that way. It was ruled a fumble, and Concord took possession at the South 43. South would be behind 13-0 before the Raiders got the ball back again.

Four plays after that pivotal fumble recovery, Concord had a touchdown pass and the lead.

Then the Spiders surprised South with an onside kick. It was successful, and Concord had the ball at the South 49 and was looking at another short field. Concord (5-2, 3-2) got a pretty incredible diving catch in the end zone by Bralen Crowder to make it 13-0.

South picked up one first down on its second possession when Richards bulled for 5 yards with a swing pass to move the chains, but Concord got a stop with a TFL on second down and a sack on third down.

South kept it at 13-0 for a while longer with a red zone stop on a fumble recovery by Joaquin Bernal.

A 32-yard field goal by Jadon Moore put South on the board, but Concord led 19-3 at the half and was able to maintain control in the second half. The Spiders rushed for nearly 300 yards.

The Spiders were able to bring major pressure on South QB Brooks Overcash most of the night, although he still made some accurate throws and passed for 149 yards.

Richards carried 21 times for 82 yards and had four catches for short gains.

Leading receivers for South were  Moore (3 for 53), Alex Furr (3 for 30) and Marshal Faw (2 for 18). Zion Jackson had a terrific, 30-yard reception.

South has a tough challenge next week at unbeaten Robinson, which crushed West Rowan on Friday.

Concord will be an underdog at undefeated Northwest Cabarrus.