Goliath came to town Friday night, but David brought a deep pouch full of stones.
South Pointe (David) unleashed one and hit Mallard Creek (Goliath), ranked No. 1 in the Observer Sweet 16, right between the eyes with a 17-6 victory. The fifth-ranked Stallions took advantage of the visitors’ inability to avoid costly and ill-timed penalties to get a memorable win against the Tar Heel state’s top-ranked team.
“I told my D-line ‘we’ve got to believe in ourselves,’ ” said junior defensive end Eli Adams. “Let’s don’t play down to these guys. Let’s go play our game, South Pointe football.”
With numerous college coaches looking on, including N.C. State coach Dave Doeren and assistant coaches from Clemson and South Carolina, two teams loaded with college prospects clashed for border bragging rights.
Much of the pregame discussion centered on nationally ranked Mallard Creek’s size advantage, but the Mavericks’ 16 penalties for 163 yards undercut that. South Pointe (4-1) wasn’t much better with 13 for 113 yards, but the hosts’ flags flew at less injurious times of the game.
“We work on technique and we do things the right way and it shows, but when you make mistakes, like the touchdown, we scored that touchdown, one of our wide receivers for no reason steps up on the line of scrimmage and now we’re in an illegal formation,” said South Pointe coach Strait Herron. “That can’t happen.”
When Mallard Creek (4-1) wasn’t drawing flags for nearly every infraction in the book, it was struggling to hold on to the ball. Quarterback Chauncey Caldwell was picked off three times, and the Mavericks also lost two fumbles.
A 3-yard Derion Kendrick touchdown run and 44-yard B.T. Potter field goal gave South Pointe a 10-0 lead after a first half in which the hosts harassed the visitors defensively.
Mallard Creek cut the lead to 10-6 with a 10-yard fourth-quarter touchdown run from Nazjae Bryant with 8 minutes, 9 seconds left in the game, but South Pointe answered within two minutes, Kendrick launching a 56-yard scoring pass to J.P. Pendergrass.
The David-like hosts held on from there for a win that won’t soon be forgotten in Stallion Country.