South Mecklenburg isn’t ready to give up on its season.
The Sabres gutted out a 21-20 SoMeck 4A win against Providence with fundamentals and a dash of opportunism to snap a three-game losing streak. DeAngelo Blair-Young’s 17-yard touchdown scamper midway through the fourth quarter and Travis Prince’s two-point conversion accounted for the go-ahead score.
“We needed this,” South Mecklenburg coach Rocky White said. “It’s been a tough three weeks. We’ve got guys banged up, dinged up, but they’re fighting through it. It’s a big win for us.”
South Meck’s defense, which is beset by injuries, set the stage in the fourth quarter by shutting out Providence. Cornerback Nigel Brown came up big with a fumble return to set up Blair Young’s final touchdown, and a leaping, twisting interception in Sabres’ territory allowed South Meck to run out the clock.
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“That was a heck of a play,” White said. “We’ve got (defensive end) Jake (Lawler) out there playing with a torn labrum; he’s essentially playing with one arm. We’ve got a linebacker playing with the same situation, so between Nigel and Holden Parker, they’re running the show over there.”
Providence gave South Meck all it could handle with Julian Boddie rushing for 119 yards on 27 carries and Blake Proehl grabbing six passes for 79 yards and two scores. The Sabres, however, rallied when it counted behind Blair-Young (five carries, 41 yards), Travis Prince (21 carries, 85 yards) and Antonio Wallace (12-of-16 passing, 163 yards).
Defenses held the upper hand in the first half, which resulted in a 7-7 deadlock at halftime. South Mecklenburg mixed its offense with 136 yards in the first half, with 69 yards on the ground. Blair-Young capped the Sabres’ first drive with a 5-yard scoring run, but Providence responded with a 17-yard pass from Jack Cherry to Proehl to tie the score.
Records: Providence 3-7, 2-4. South Mecklenburg 5-5, 3-3.
Worth mentioning: Friday was Senior Night at South Mecklenburg. ... Providence’s Boddie rushed for 78 yards in the first half.
What’s next: Providence will host Charlotte Catholic in the regular-season finale. South Mecklenburg will go to Ardrey Kell with playoff seeding on the line.
Providence 7 6 7 0-20
South Mecklenburg 7 6 0 8-21
SM-DeAngelo Blair-Young 5 run (Jonathan Doerer kick)
P-Blake Proehl 17 pass from Jack Cherry (Ben Richardson kick)
P-Julian Boddie 1 run (kick blocked)
SM-Jakiem Futrell 20 run (kick failed)
P-Proehl 34 pass from Cherry (Richardson kick)
SM-Blair-Young 17 run (Travis Prince run)