What South Mecklenburg High lacks in flash, it compensates with fortitude.
The Sabres improved to 4-0 with a 14-7 overtime win against Myers Park in the fourth annual Patriotism Bowl at South. Zack Gilbert scored the game-winning touchdown on a 1-yard plunge on the Sabres’ lone possession and Moryah Johnson sealed it with a leaping one-handed interception in the corner of the end zone on fourth and goal.
“We’d be disappointed if we weren’t 4-0,” South coach Rocky White said. “That’s what we anticipate. We’re happy going into the bye week, and it gives us an opportunity to fix things and hopefully go into the conference schedule healthy.”
Defense bailed South and Myers Park (2-2) out of mistakes and missed opportunities. Neither team could sustain offensive rhythm, taking turns making big plays when necessary. In the end, the Sabres seized the initiative with Johnson’s pick.
“Defensively, we played very, very well,” Mustangs coach Scott Chadwick said. “Offensively, we didn’t. We didn’t play well, and we didn’t make enough plays and that was the bottom line.”
South Mecklenburg accounted for 286 yards total offense, including 140 yards on the ground. Travis Price paced South Mecklenburg with 84 yards rushing on 19 carries, but the Sabres struggled with penalties and miscues. Still, they found a way to hang on.
“If we quit making mistakes and hurting ourselves, we’re going to be a good football team,” White said. “The one thing we have figured out is we’ve learned how to compete; we’ve learned how to come back from difficult situations, so we’re growing up.”
South Mecklenburg was balanced on offense with 192 yards in the first half – split evenly between passing and rushing – while limiting Myers Park to 81 yards. The Sabres twice choked off Mustangs scoring opportunities deep in South Meck territory.
South took a 7-0 advantage into the break when John Brannon connected with Antonio Wallace on a 15-yard pass in the corner of the end zone with 2:47 left in the first quarter. Myers Park countered with Jack Davidson’s 1-yard plunge in the third quarter.
Quote: “We had plenty of chances to make plays, plenty of chances to score some points and we didn’t do it.” – Myers Park coach Scott Chadwick.
Records: South Mecklenburg is 3-0 and 0-0 in the SoMeck 4A; Myers Park is 2-2 and 0-0 in the Southwestern 4A.
Worth Mentioning: Myers Park was 0-for-2 on first-half red zone trips. South Meck converted its lone opportunity into a touchdown.
What’s next: South Mecklenburg has a bye. Myers Park hosts Sun Valley in a non-conference game.