Anybody who expected this to be a close game left disappointed as the Red Raiders cruised out to a 42-0 half-time lead. Troy Leeper scored on runs of 25, 12 and 1 (twice). Devan Robbins scored twice as well, once with a 40-yard touchdown pass from Patrick Horne and his second touchdown was a three-yard run in the third quarter. Dan Johnson, Ramon Costner and Tyler Bray each accounted for one score.
In fact, it only took three plays to get South Point on the board. Patrick Horne runs of 38 and 6 set up a fullback Troy Leeper touchdown run at the Warriors one-yard line. The Warriors attempted to muster up a drive of their own on the ensuing drive, but would stall around the Red Raiders’ 35-yard line. South Point would make them pay on their next drive. Leeper scored his 12-yard touchdown run to cap off the drive.
The Red Raiders, it seemed, could do no wrong as they scored at will. Seemingly lulling East Gaston to sleep with their punishing ground attack, the Red Raiders took to the air as Patrick Horne hit Devan Robbins for a 40-yard touchdown pass. The defense would continue to smother East Gaston’s offense and the special teams would make their presence known. Ramon Costner returned a punt 58 yards for a touchdown to boost South Point to a 28-0 lead.
Things continued to get worse for East Gaston as Leeper would punch in his third touchdown of the night with a 25-yard run. The Warriors tried to make something happen as quarterback Jarke Hopkins appeared to break loose for a big gainer, but a costly fumble inside their 40-yard line did the Warriors in. The Red Raiders showed no signs of stopping as Leeper scored again, this time from the one-yard line.
In the start of the second half, the Warriors looked like a different team. Hopkins broke loose for a 42-yard run to get a big first down. Gary Gore capped off the drive with a one-yard touchdown run to put the Warriors on the board. The kick would be blocked, however
That would be the only thing that went the Warriors’ way the rest of the night. Tyler Bray answered East Gaston’s only score with a 33-yard dash into the end zone. The Warriors would get deep into the Red Raiders territory again late in the third quarter. They would attempt a field-goal early in the fourth, but the Red Raiders’ special teams stood tall again as they blocked the field-goal. That makes two blocked kicks by the special teams on this night.
South Point would add two more scores before this one was over and those were without Horne and Leeper in the line-up. Robbins’ three-yard touchdown run and back-up wing-back Dan Johnson’s four-yard run into the end zone late in the fourth quarter gave South Point a 63-6 victory.
The Red Raiders never punted on the night and Dayton Rogers was 9-for-9 on his extra points.
South Point will be home again next week as they host Burns. East Gaston will be back at home against East Lincoln.
Quotes from the South Point-East Gaston game
“They whipped all four quarters. The scoreboard is pretty evident of that. From the first play to the last play, they lined up and whipped us. We took it! I thought we would dig down a little bit deeper and fight. South Point’s a very good team. They beat a Lincolnton team last week that was pretty good and we knew coming in that they were very talented. I thought we were a little better than what we showed tonight. I told the guys at half-time that this is not the last game of the season but I would like for us to get better.”
“We came out (in the second half) and actually executed properly. It wasn’t scheme, it was sound football. Actually, South Point runs the same offense that we do and they do a better job of executing it and that’s my fault. I hold myself accountable for that because I’m the head coach. We got a lot of work to do.”
“It’s a total Red Raider victory. Our kicking game did well. We scored in the kicking game and on a punt return. Our kickoff coverage kept them deep. Our defense swarmed and got to the ball. We didn’t let them have a lot of breathing room. We played Red Raider defense. We probably had 8 or 9 people on the tackle and that was big. Offensively, I don’t think we punted. It was about as good a night offensively as we could have. We were able to throw the ball, we’ve been working on our passing game and working on some counters and things like that we were able to execute them today. Our reads were better. All in all, it was a total team win. The guys on the scout team did a great job in getting us ready. They imitated East Gaston pretty good and our boys had the right attitude and work ethic and I think we improved this week I think we got better. ”
“Our defense got after them (Chris McDowell and Jarkevius Hopkins). They made it happen. You know, our best defense is probably when we got the ball on offense and keep it away from people and go down and score. When people start looking up and they’re down a couple of scores or three scores, then people start panicking.”
“Burns is good in all phases of the game. This will be by far the biggest challenge we have had this year. We need to work hard and we need to play the best that we can play but it’s going to be a big challenge. We look forward to the match-up.”
“We can block better. We can read better. We’ve missed some tackles. We can improve on all phases of the game. We are not there yet. We got a long way to go. We’re working for perfection and hopefully we’ll get there.”
About this team and the 2003 team
“Two different teams. Two different personalities. A lot of water under the bridge. That team played 16 ball games, we’ve played three.”