South Pointe coach Bobby Carroll knew the question was coming, so he went ahead and answered it after his team's 55-17 victory over Chester at District Three South Stadium on Friday.
"It looks like we have a quarterback controversy,'' he said. "Devin Pearson had just three days to get ready for this game and I'm very proud of him tonight. We get Tay Hicklin back next week, so what we do know is one of them will be spending a lot of time in our secondary.''
Pearson, a starting cornerback, came in near halftime of the Stallions' 17-7 win over Fairfield Central last Friday after Hicklin was ejected. Hicklin had to serve a one-game suspension, giving Pearson more time to work with the starting offense as the Stallions prepared for their match-up with the Cyclones for the Region 4-AAA championship.
Pearson looked like he had been taking snaps all season.
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He led the Stallions, ranked No. 1 in Class AAA, to a pair of unanswered touchdowns in the first half. He guided the Stallions 93 yards for their first touchdown, which was set up by JaRyan Jennings. Pearson had a 38-yard run during the march to the end zone. But it was Jennings who capped the drive, scoring on a 38-yard run.
The game looked like it could turn into a romp in the second quarter after Jennings added a 17-yard TD run. Landon Ard nailed the kick and South Pointe led 14-0.
"I was nervous when the game started, but on our second possession and long scoring drive, I settled down,'' Pearson said. "Last week I came in and did what I could to help us win the game. I was more confident tonight and we were able to break away in the second half because our defense was giving us good field position.''
South Pointe (8-1, 4-0 region) led 17-14 at the half, but only after Ard's 22-yard field goal killed the first-half clock.
Chester (6-3, 3-1) cut the margin to 14-7 after Derry Rambert returned a fumble 29 yards for a touchdown. Chester's Troy Brown fell on another Stallions' fumble late in the half and the Cyclone scored on Tony McNeal's 5-yard TD pass to Deterrion Hardin.
"They got the last field goal and went up by three at the half, but we felt good going into the locker room after coming back from two (touchdowns) down,'' McNeal said. "We came out and drove the field and all we could get was a field goal.
"It was what we wanted, but we tied the game. Then, South Pointe exploded.''
It came just after Chester tied it on Joey Ford's 28-yard field goal.
The biggest boom came from Pearson. He scored on runs of 21, 46 and 1 yards. He came up nine inches short of scoring his final TD on 25-yard run. It was ruled Pearson stopped just outside the end zone, so he knocked it in with a sneak on the next play.
Pearson finished with 255 rushing yards on 28 carries.
The Stallions broke the 17-all tie on Malik Jamerson's 18-yard run. It was followed by Pearson's three TD runs and two more scores.
The first was Ard's 30-yard field goal. The second was a defensive touchdown on first down after Ard's kick. Tevin Worthy was in for McNeal and on his first play, a pass, South Pointe's Gerald Dixon blocked the ball. Jadeveon Clowney caught the deflection ran for a 23-yard touchdown.
"Bobby Carroll has a fine team and I feel we will see them again in the playoffs,'' Chester coach Anthony Sterling said. "We made some mistakes and when we made mistakes we shot ourselves in the foot. We can play better than that and shouldn't have been satisfied with what we'd accomplished after we tied the game in the second half.''
SOUTH POINTE 55
SP - JaRyan Jennings 38 run (Landon Ard kick)
SP - Jennings 17 run (Landon Ard kick)
C - Derry Rambert 29 fumble return (Joey Ford kick)
C - Deterrion Hardin 5 pass from Tony McNeal (Ford kick)
SP - Ard 22 field goal
C - Ford 28 field goal
SP - Malik Jamerson 18 run (Ard kick)
SP - Devin Person 21 run (Ard kick)
SP - Person 46 run (Ard kick)
SP - Person 1 run (Ard kick)
SP - Ard 30 field goal
SP - Clowney 23 interception return (Ard kick)
RUSHING - Chester: Julius Pendergrass 15-98. Brent Minter 7-8, Tony McNeal 3-2, Nick Hughes 2-4. South Pointe: Pearson 28-255, Malik Jamerson 11-52, Jalen Massey 5-10, Montay Crockett 4-9, JaRyan Jennings 3-57, Clowney 3-11, Brandan Barber 2-5, Corey Neely 1-(-2), Garrick Mackey 1-(-8).
PASSING - Chester: McNeal 12-24-113-2, Tevin Worthy 0-1-0-1. South Pointe: Pearson 1-4-51-0.
RECEIVING - Chester: Dion Strong 8-61, Worthy 3-32, Deterrion Hardin 3-11, Derrick Woods 1-11, Pendergrass 1-(-2). South Pointe: Crockett 1.
RECORDS: South Pointe 8-1, 4-0; Chester 6-3, 3-1.