Vance Cougars coach Aaron Brand didn’t blame the officials for penalizing his team 16 times for 150 yards in a 41-34 loss to Rock Hill’s South Pointe on Friday night at Vance.
And he also wouldn’t point to a driving rainstorm which helped turn this back-and-forth non-conference matchup into a definite tale of two halves.
“They (South Pointe) played on the same field we did, and they didn’t shoot themselves in the foot when they had opportunities like we did,” Brand said after his team couldn’t hold a 27-21 halftime lead and fell short in a fourth quarter comeback attempt, suffering their first loss of the season.
Junior quarterback Kingsley Ifedi completed 16 of 27 passes for 282 yards and three touchdowns and rushed 14 times for 73 yards and another score for the Cougars. But for every positive step forward Vance took it seemed there was a yellow flag on another.
Vance scored on its opening possession on a 65-yard touchdown pass from Ifedi to Nate Jones, but the Stallions bounced back quickly. A 90-yard halfback pass from Derion Kendrick to Lorenzo Wells was the first of three straight touchdowns by South Pointe, on the way to a 21-7 lead.
But Vance took a 27-21 lead to halftime with three straight scores of its own — a 3-yard run by Jerimiah Hall, a 37-yard pass from Ifedi to Myles Dorn and a three-yard keeper by Ifedi.
The rain, which started just before the second half got underway, turned both offenses conservative in the second half.
South Pointe reeled off three straight touchdowns to take a 41-27 lead before an 18-yard pass from Ifedi to Hall cut the Stallions lead to seven points. But Vance’s onside kick went out of bounds and South Pointe ran out the clock,
Quote: “Sixteen penalties is too many to beat a top team in this state or any other state or country. We’ve got to learn to be more disciplined, and we have to learn to adjust to things better. We’ve got a tough Independence team coming up, so we’ll go back to the drawing board.”— Aaron Brand, Vance head coach.
Records: South Pointe 4-0, Vance 3-1
Worth mentioning: It wasn’t just the number of penalties that hurt Vance. There were also at least two nullified gains of more than 30 yards, including a 40-yard pass play to the red zone from Ifedi to Myles Dorn with the Cougars down 28-27 midway through the third quarter.
What’s Next: Vance hosts Independence at 7 p.m. on Friday, and South Pointe is home to Rock Hill Northwestern at 7:30 p.m. Friday.