So much for slow starts.
The South Pointe Stallions’ trend of stagnant play in the first half followed by dominant second halves changed course Friday night in Chester. The Stallions were up by two touchdowns with only 4:02 elapsed and led by 20 before the end of the first quarter. In the end, the Stallions earned a 53-19 win over the Cyclones.
Chester standout linebacker Daryl Foster had two defensive returns for scores in 43 seconds in the second quarter, but South Pointe responded with 23 points over the final 3:40 of the first half.
One theme that did not change was South Pointe’s suffocating second-half defense as it once again did not allow a second-half point to run its streak to three games of not having been scored on in the second half this season.
South Pointe improved to 3-0.
It was a different game from last season when the same teams battled to a scoreless tie and a combined 56 yards at the half at South Pointe. The Stallions scored 30 unanswered points after intermission to take a 30-0 win in that one.
“You don’t script this stuff out,” South Pointe coach Strait Herron said. “It kind of just comes to you as you go. We made those mistakes right there and let them jump right back in the game. Our offense went through some adversity this week losing a coach which is unusual.”
In this one, quarterback Tay Blake had 101 yards rushing at halftime and tailback Josh Brice had 105. Wideout Anthony Johnson also had three touchdowns, all in the first half.
After Foster returned a fumble 45 yards for a score and then a pick another 25 yards for a score 43 seconds later, the Cyclones had trimmed the South Pointe lead to 20-19.
But after Brice scored his second touchdown with 3:40 left, Chester fumbled on its own 20 with 53 seconds remaining before the half. Three plays later, Blake found Johnson in the back of the end zone for a five-yard score and a 34-19 lead with 29.5 left.
Instead of getting under center and kneeling on the ball, the Cyclones lined up in shotgun and continued a first-half theme of bad snaps. This one sailed over quarterback Tommy Sanders’ head and into the end zone for a safety. On the ensuing free kick, Johnson returned it to the Chester 35 with 7 seconds left. Blake rolled left and lofted a perfect strike to a single-covered Johnson in the end zone for a 43-19 lead at the horn.