South Iredell’s offense had its problems scoring against Mooresville on Friday night.
No problems – thanks to the Vikings’ defense, they didn’t need many points in upsetting the Blue Devils 21-10 at Joe Popp Stadium to move atop the North Piedmont 3A/4A standings.
Tyree Hallman ran for a season-high 147 yards and two touchdowns as South Iredell – No. 16 in the Observer’s Sweet 16 poll – extended its winning streak to seven games, its longest since 2012.
“None of the seniors had ever beaten them before, so this means a lot,” Hallman said after beating 10th-ranked Mooresville for the first time in three years. “So this means a lot. We just came out and played hard. It’s amazing.”
While South Iredell was held to half of its average scoring Friday – the Vikings were scoring just over 42 points per game – it was their defense that kept the Blue Devils in check.
Mooresville was able to move the ball, led by a 159-yard rushing game from junior Donshel Jetton, but South’s defense forced four turnovers – three interceptions and a fumble.
“(The offense) kinda got bogged down a little bit, but there’s some games where the defense plays great and the offense doesn’t,” Vikings coach Scott Miller said. “Tonight was one of those nights.”
Caleb Klucking had put Mooresville in the lead late in the first quarter on a 25-yard quarterback keeper, but South Iredell responded with a pair of Hallman TD runs – 1 and 43 yards – for a 14-7 halftime lead.
The Blue Devils twice had chances to tie the score – an end-zone interception thwarted one shot; the second stalled at the Vikings 4, leading to a 21-yard field goal by Jacob Benjamin.
South Iredell then put the game away with its next-to-last drive of the fourth quarter. Switching to a direct-snap formation, the Vikings drove 62 yards in nine plays, capped by Jared Bradley’s 20-yard TD run.
Quote: “They took it to us at the end there. They mashed us up front. We practiced for it all week, but it’s very difficult to stop the way they do it. We had stopped them the first couple times, but at the end they decided they were going to end this thing and they did.” – Mooresville coach Hal Capps.
Records: South Iredell 7-1, 4-0 North Piedmont 3A/4A; Mooresville 5-3, 3-1.
Worth mentioning: Mooresville’s Shrine Bowl pick Jamil Dukes was in a wheelchair on the sidelines of Friday’s game, missing his second straight game with a severe bulging disc in his lower back.
What’s Next: South Iredell hosts long-time league rival North Iredell next Friday, while Mooresville hosts fellow conference 4A team Alexander Central.