Before hosting the run-heavy Clover Friday night, Strait Herrons South Pointe Stallions knew they needed every muscle of a stingy rush defense thats held its opponents to an average of 68 yards on the ground this season.
Despite giving up their second-highest rushing yardage of 2013, South Pointe (7-2, 4-1 in region) forced four fumbles en route to blanking out the Blue Eagles 42-0 in front of a raucous Senior Night crowd.
Chad Smiths Clover squad (1-8, 1-4 in region) out-ran the Stallions on the stat sheet, but couldnt touch South Pointes potent air raid attack. Three different receivers picked up touchdowns in the first half of yesterdays rout, which also included a 17-yard rushing score by sophomore quarterback Zaylin Burris.
Tonight was a big way of boosting our confidence, Herron said after the game. Hopefully our players are really taking it all in. Zaylin, and whats hes doing, I think its going to really help us going down the road.
Before Clovers senior quarterback Scott Jackson tossed three interceptions (one of which went for a pick-six, courtesy of defensive back Chris Smith), the Stallions got on the board the old-fashioned way. On the first play from scrimmage, Burris (7-9, 198 yards, 2 TDs) connected with receiver Anthony Johnson down the left sideline for a 65-yard catch and score. After a fruitless Blue Eagle opening possession, Burris took it to the end zone himself three minutes later to double the Stallion lead.
A recovered Clover fumble on the Clover 33 set South Pointe running back Bree Minor up for a six-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter before Montez McCulloughs 67 yard scoring reception put the hosts up by four touchdowns.
On the other side of the ball, Clover recorded their lowest rushing total of the season against South Pointe (124 yards), almost 40 yards less than their previous low.
It didnt help when Stallion Marveon Mobley collected a Clover fumble off of a South Pointe kick off. The junior lineback rumbled into the endzone from 30 yards out before Smiths pick six iced what ended up as an easy win for the home team
Any time the defense can score for you, it takes more pressure off the offense, Herron said. Its all about getting 11 guys going the same direction, full speed, full tilt. If you cause turnovers and score off them, its better for the whole program.
Clover takes on Fort Mill (3-6, 1-4 in region) next week, while South Pointe travels to face York, who picked up their first loss of the season this week against Northwestern.
South Pointe 42, Clover 0
SPHS- Anthony Johns 65 pass from Zaylin Burris (Dix kick)
SPHS: Zaylin Burris 17 run (Dix kick)
SPHS: Bree Minor 6 run (Dix kick)
SPHS: Montez McCullough 67 pass from Zaylin Burris, (Dix kick)
SPHS: Marveon Mobley 30 yard fumble recovery (Dix kick)
SPHS: Chris Smith 90 yard interception recovery (Dix kick)
SOUTH POINTE RUSHING: Zaylin Burris: 5-47, 1 rushing TD, Vinny Emanuele: 9-45, Bree Minor: 7-21, 1 TD, Devion Williams: 1-0, Khalil Jackson 1-7, Quay Hope: 1-4, Greg Ruff: 2- negative 16 yards, 108 total rushing yards for SP. RECEIVING: Anthony Johnson, 2-95, 1 TD, Kyle Brandt 2-20, Montez McCullough 3-83, 1 TD, Quay Brown: 2-18. PASSING: Zaylin Burris: 7-9, 198 yards, 2 TDs, Greg Ruff: 2-2, 18 yards
CLOVER RUSHING: Coby Hamblen: 9-31, Chase Galant: 10-60, Tanner Whitley: 4-3, Scott Jackson: 3-5, Zach Conrad: 4-13, Nate Morrison: 1-9, Cody Payne: 1-3 124 rushing yards for Clover. RECEIVING: NONE. PASSING: Scott Jackson0-2, 3 INTS, 0 yards.
RECORDS SOUTH POINTE (7-2, 4-1 in region) CLOVER (1-8, 1-4 in region)