The 2010 high school football season kicked off Friday at Nation Ford with technical difficulties from the opening snap.
The 2-year-old scoreboard was broke, leaving fans wondering everything from the time of play to the number of yards to go. School officials hope to have the broken scoreboard fixed by the next home game Aug. 27 against Great Falls.
On the field, the Falcons certainly didn't have many technical difficulties as they beat Forestview (N.C.) 28-16 coming from behind in the second half.
"We needed that," said Nation Ford coach Rusty Jester. "I think our conditioning showed tonight. Special teams was huge for us especially when it came to field position."
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Falcons senior Sean Potts-Harris returned the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown to start the game.
Forestview came right back and drove 80 yards on 10-play drive to tie the game at 7 on an 11-yard touchdown run by junior Octavious Wallace.
The defense for both teams held strong on their next drives. Nation Ford made a huge stop on fourth down, getting the ball back on Forestview's 27-yard line to start a drive as the first quarter ended.
However, Nation Ford got stopped when they faced a fourth and one to give the ball back to Forestview.
Forestview's running combination of Wallace and senior Tyerecas Jeter combined to run for 96 yards and gave the Falcons run defense fits.
Nation Ford gave up 111 rushing yards in the first half.
Forestview also threw off the Falcons by mixing in their passing game as well. Sophomore quarterback Calvin Johnson hit Wallace down the left side of the field for a 46-yard touchdown with about 7:30 left in the second quarter to take the lead.
As for first downs, Nation Ford didn't pick up its first one of the game until about 5:30 left in the second quarter.
That drive was stopped when Falcons quarterback Thomas Condron was picked off by Forestview's Cortezz Nixon. Condron started the game going 4 for 4 before the pick.
Condron was picked off for the second straight series, this time in the red zone with just 90 second in the first half.
The second half was different for both teams as penalties ate up any ground for Forestview and caused a major momentum swing for the Falcons.
Forestview took the second half kickoff and ran down field using the running of Jeter to do the majority of the work.
The key play on the drive was when Johnson hit Wallace over the middle for a 34-yard pass to put the Jaguars at the two-yard line.
A bad snap pushed Forestview back to the 10-yard line, where they were forced to kick a field goal.
Nation Ford put together one of their better drives of the game as they went 55-yards on seven plays to score on a two-yard run from J.J. McCullough.
NATION FORD 28
FORESTVIEW (N.C.) 16
NF -- Sean Potts-Harris 85-yard kickoff return (Gary Pence kick)
F -- Octavious Wallace 11-yard run (Cody Bridges kick)
F -- Calvin Johnson to Wallace 46-yard pass (kick failed)
F -- Bridges 25-yard field goal
NF -- J.J. McCullough two-yard run (Pence kick)
NF -- Thomas Condron to Nick Damm 11-yard pass (Pence kick)
NF -- Condron two-yard run (Pence kick)
RUSHING - F: Octavious Wallace 10-33, Tyerecas Jeter 17-115, Calvin Johnson 4-22. NF: JoJo Williamson 5-6, J.J. McCullough 9-37, Thomas Condron 4-20, Jake Williams 3-19.
PASSING - F: Calvin Johnson 7-16-1-129. NF: Thomas Condron 10-13-2-100.
RECEIVING - F: Joseph Reid 1-27, Tyerecas Jeter 1-3, Derrick Byrd 1-5, Octavious Wallace 4-94. NF: Nick Damm 3-19, Jake Williams 2-26, Will Ford 3-50, JoJo Williamson 2-5.
RECORDS -- Forestview 0-1, Nation Ford 1-0
CHESTER 35, ABBEVILLE 21 -- In Newberry, it was a clash of offensive philosophies, featuring the potent Cyclones aerial attack against the power running game of the Panthers.
Both teams had success with Abbeville gaining 293 yards on the ground with three touchdowns.However, that style was unable to keep pace with the Cyclones.
Cyclone senior quarterback Tony McNeal, an All-State and All-American candidate, put on a show at the Newberry College Stadium, completing 14-of-20 passes for 283 yards and four touchdowns. He began by completing his first eight attempts for 92 yards and two scores, and ended the first half with 13-of-17 completions for 277 yards and four scores.
Referring to his offseason knee surgery, McNeal said that he was more than eager to get on the field and go 100 percent.
"We have been ready and waiting all off season," McNeal said. "I have been working with receivers in the 7-on-7's and we also have to credit our offensive line. I have been going back-and-forth to the doctor to make sure I was ready and tonight, I feel fine."
McNeal made sure to spread the wealth, connecting with five different receivers. His favorite target was Deon Strong, who grabbed six catches for 102 yards while runningback Julius Pendergrass added three grabs for 77, including a 62-yard touchdown.
CHESTER 35, ABBEVILLE 21
A -- Mike Holden 1 yd run (Luke White kick)
C -- Deon Strong 21 yd pass from McNeal (Ford kick)
C -- Emery Frederick 53 yd pass from McNeal (Ford kick)
A -- La'Quavas Watt 31 yd run (White kick)
C -- J. Pendergrass 62 yd pass from McNeal (Ford kick)
C -- Brent Minter 2 yd run (Ford kick)
C --Strong 35 yd pass from McNeal (Ford kick)
A -- Ashton Heard 1 yd run (White kick)
RUSHING -- C: Brent Minter 15-99; K.J. Dixon 2-20; J. Pendergrass 3-minus 1; Tony McNeal 1-minus 10. A: La'Quavas Watt 19-161; Tyler Boyles 11-37; Ashton Heard 13-31; Mike Holden 4-29; O'Bryan Wilson 3-19; Josh Coates 7-10; N. Killingworth 2-6.
PASSING -- C: Tony McNeal 14-20-0-283. A: Tyler Boyles 3-6-1-38.
RECEIVING -- C: Deon Strong 6-102; J. Pendergrass 3-77; Brent Minter 2-41; D. Hardin 2-10; Emery Frederick 1-53. A: K. Gilchrist 1-32; O'Bryan Wilson 1-5; Mike Holden 1-1.
RECORDS - Chester 1-0, Abbeville 0-1
WESMINSTER CATAWBA 45, SOUTHLAKE 0 -- Sometimes football can seem so insignificant.
Friday night at Tomahawk Stadium on the campus of Westminster Catawba, the home-standing Indians won a football game over the visiting SouthLake Christian Eagles in what was the season opener for both teams. However, this night was not about that. This night was about honoring the memory of a young man who tragically lost his life playing the game he loved.
Last Friday night, just days from starting his final year of high school, 18-year-old Lewisville senior running back Brian Colvin collapsed and later died after playing against Westminster Catawba in the Chester County Jamboree at Chester High School. It was the second tragedy in a week for the school as Catherine Fowler, a 15-year-old cheerleader and softball player, was killed in a car accident on Aug. 7.
It was also a night of new beginnings as Dan Devine coached his first game as the leader of the Indians, and the coach could not have asked for a much better start to his tenure.
First-year starting QB Mark Vehaun shook off a broken knuckle and dislocated pinky finger on his non-throwing hand sustained on the third play of last week's scrimmage to go 6 for 6 with three touchdowns and 124 yards on the night.
WESTMINSTER CATAWBA 45
SOUTHLAKE CHRISTIAN 0
WCCS -- Ian Brandt 13 pass from Mark Vehaun (kick failed)
WCCS -- Mark Watts fumble recovery (Nate Casey pass from Vehaun)
WCCS -- Josh Parker 4 run(kick failed)
WCCS -- Mason Rudolph 61 pass from Vehaun(Alex Valis kick)
WCCS -- Brandt 16 pass from Vehaun(kick failed)
WCCS -- Peyton Hinson 8 run(kick failed)
WCCS -- Will McCutchen 5 run(kick failed)
RUSHING -- WCCS: Josh parker 12-60, Cameron Adkins 10-55, Nate Casey 3-20, Mark Vehaun 3-(-5), Will McCutchen 10-61, Peyton Hinson 4-26, Devante Jackson 5-10. SC: Sam Remick 16-20, Revonn Hassell 4-27, Ashton Stroud 9-6, Demitri Allison 1-0, Kendall Godwin 1-(-16)
PASSING -- WCCS: Vehaun 6-6-124-0; SC: Remick 2-11-54-2
RECEIVING -- WCCS: Ian Brandt 4-46, Mason Rudolph 1-61, Hinson 1-17; SC: Travis Hallman 1-29, Allison 1-25
RECORDS -- WCCS 1-0, SC 0-1