The South Pointe Stallions went three and a half hours down Interstate 85 and handed the Buford Wolves their first loss ever against a team from outside the state of Georgia on Friday night.
Clemson-commit Derion Kendrick rushed for 211 yards and accounted for four touchdowns as the visitors from Rock Hill – dubbed Football City USA – came away with a thrilling 33-27 win at Tom Riden Stadium.
The first possession of the game ended terribly as the snap sailed over Stallion punter B.T. Potter into the end zone. Potter tried to pick it up and get the kick off but he was hit and fumbled. Buford fell on it to go up 7-0 one minute into the contest.
Ranked eighth in the country by USA Today, the Stallions (4-0) got on the board two possessions later when Kendrick hit Scott Robinson for a 38-yard score. Kendrick scored from 10 yards out on the next possession and hit exactly 100 yards for the first quarter on the play. Potter had a 32-yard field goal blocked halfway through the second quarter and the Wolves drove to tie the game on Anthony Grant's 3-yard run.
Jaylen Mahoney picked off a Wolves pass the first time the hosts had the ball in the second half, and a Kendrick-to-Robinson pass for 36 yards gave the Stallions a 21-14 lead. The Wolves 70-yard punt return made it 21-20 but the snap was bad on the PAT. Potter hit a 36-yard field goal with nine seconds left in the quarter set the stage for the frenetic fourth stanza.
A Jamari Currence interception was taken away by an interference call, and the Wolves took the lead later in that drive. After Kendrick's final score, South Pointe had a chance to finish it but fumbled at the six. The defense held and Eli Adams sacked the Buford QB in the end zone for a safety. Ty Good recovered the onside kick to end it.
The Wolves took the lead for the first time since they led 7-0 with a 24-yard touchdown run by Tennessee-bound Anthony Grant to go up 27-24 at the 8:16 mark in the fourth. Kendrick took the Stallions 74 yards in exactly three minutes and finished with a 17-yard touchdown run to get the lead back for good at 31-27.
South Pointe's biggest strength was its biggest weakness in the first half. The bad snap and fumble on the first punt gave away a touchdown, and the Stallions’ blocked field goal led to another score. In the third quarter, the Wolves got a 70-yard punt return for another score after a 43-yard punt by B.T. Potter. All three Buford scores came after special teams miscues by the Stallions.
Derion Kendrick had 211 rushing yards, ran for two scores and threw for two more. Scott Robinson had two touchdown catches.
South Pointe will host another out-of-state power in Shelby of North Carolina next Friday.
South Pointe 33 Buford (GA) 27
Buf - Blocked punt recovery (Hayden Olsen kick) 11:00
SP - Scott Robinson Jr. 38 pass from Derion Kendrick (B.T. Potter kick) 6:34
SP - Kendrick 10 run (Potter kick) 1:16
Buf - Anthony Grant 3 run (Olsen kick) 3:16
SP - Robinson Jr. 36 pass from Kendrick (Potter kick) 11:28
Buf - Austin Turner 70 punt return (bad snap) 6:25
SP - Potter 36 Field goal (0:09)
Buf - Grant 24 run (Olsen kick) 8:16
SP - Kendrick 17 run (Potter kick) 5:16
SP - Eli Adams sack safety (1:04)
RUSHING South Pointe: Derion Kendrick 17-211; Donovan Mcclinton 2-18; Joe Ervin 11-46; Marice Whitlock 11-42. Buford: Christian Turner 22-95; Aaron McLaughlin 8-19; Anthony Grant 11-83; Austin Turner 1-6; Derrian Brown 3-10; Team 1-(-4).
PASSING SP: Kendrick 8-20-2-1, 133 yards. Buford: McLaughlin 8-19-0-1, 63 yards.
RECEIVING SP: Robinson Jr. 4-80; Whitlock 1-51; Steven Gilmore Jr. 2-3. Buford: Isaiah Isaac 2-(-4); Matt Walton 2-25; KJ Johnson 2-32; Turner 1-4; Tyler Gillis 1-6.
RECORDS South Pointe 4-0; Buford 2-1.