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Working out kinks

South Pointe's Stephon Gilmore stiff-arms Fort Mill's Chad Bonner while carrying the ball.
South Pointe's Stephon Gilmore stiff-arms Fort Mill's Chad Bonner while carrying the ball.

YORK -- South Pointe wanted to show off what it could do, knowing it was better than last year's inaugural 3-8 campaign. The Stallions' game plan for The 37th Herald Football Jamboree was simple -- use their stable of tailbacks to set up the pass and slip past Fort Mill with too many looks on offense.

Good plan.

But not necessary.

The Stallions lived up to their nickname Thursday by galloping for 126 rushing yards and two touchdowns, rolling past Fort Mill 14-0. Six tailbacks and quarterback Stephon Gilmore touched the ball at least once, hardly needing to throw to get the victory.

"We've been putting in a lot of work," said junior Devin Wherry, who led the crowd with 62 yards on five carries despite a sore knee. "We have a lot of quickness and power."

That was evident. South Pointe hammered away at the young Yellow Jackets, ripping six runs of at least 12 yards and only attempting seven passes.

The Stallions only completed three, but the first seemed to be the clue it wasn't going to be Fort Mill's night. Gilmore's initial attempt tipped off his intended receiver's hands, only to fall into the arms of fellow wideout Aaron Currence 7 yards downfield.

Gilmore trotted into the end zone from 6 yards for the first touchdown and Johnny Young had a 5-yard scamper in the second period. Mixed in between were runs from Bobby Hemphill, Derique Pendergrass, Raphael Ratliff, Dentrial Jackson and Wherry.

"This started, really, last November, when we started lifting and conditioning," said South Pointe coach Bobby Carroll. "It wasn't fun being 3-8. It was a humbling experience."

The Stallions still showed some flashes of their youth, Gilmore rolling out on the game's first play and falling down 12 yards back, and fumbling twice.

But they more than made up for it when the offensive line opened gaping holes in the Jackets' defense, allowing the multi-headed running backs to set up the scoring drives.

Fort Mill, adjusting to the loss of several key players and a high-flying offense, looked stunned. The Jackets lost two of three fumbles and quarterback Bryan Wright tossed an interception, contributing to just 61 total yards.

"We weren't there at all tonight," rookie coach Ed Susi said. "We need to get mentally and physically tougher. We had that deer-in-the-headlights look."

The Jackets moved the ball well on their first drive, keyed by Chad Bonner's 44-yard kickoff return, but it stalled in the red zone. After Max Simons and Wright had moved the ball to the Stallions' 27-yard-line, Malik Goolsby was wrapped at the line, Travis Nims dropped a pass and Wright was tackled after a 5-yard scramble.

Facing fourth-and-four, already down 7-0, Wright threw toward the end zone.

South Pointe's Mike Gaither was the only one there.

That foreshadowed the Jackets' next possession, which lasted one play on their own 5. Cordara Harris took a handoff and fumbled, which was recovered by the Stallions and punched in one play later.

"The addition of (former Fort Mill coach Greg Taylor) has really changed our offense," Carroll said. "He mixes it up pretty well."

Fort Mill South Pointe
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