High School Football

Stallions stunned: South Pointe ends season after 21-14 loss to Greer

South Pointe’s O’mega Blake carries the ball on Friday, Nov. 1. The South Pointe Stallions competed against the York Cougars in varsity football.
South Pointe’s O’mega Blake carries the ball on Friday, Nov. 1. The South Pointe Stallions competed against the York Cougars in varsity football. tkimball@heraldonline.com

South Pointe’s first round contest of the 4A South Carolina state high school football playoffs came to an untimed down — the kind of moment the Stallions had been able to capitalize on all season.

This drive — which ended in Greer storming the field in triumph after it won, 21-14 — started at the Stallions’ own five yard line with 48 seconds left: There was a short scramble by quarterback Tahleek Steele, a quick pass — and then a 56-yard completion to O’Mega Blake, who somehow emerged with a jump ball in double coverage.

And then, after two more plays and a penalty on Greer as time expired, this was it. 24 yards. No clock.

There was a chance. There always seemed to be with this team.

This is a team that emerged victorious from its matchup with Rock Hill in its second regular season contest: The Stallions had their field goal blocked, but the ball landed in senior Kobe Shannon’s chest, and he ran it in for a go-ahead touchdown. This is a team that found a way to win despite having to play its backup quarterback against an eventual playoff team, Nation Ford, in Week 2.

This was the sort of circumstance that this South Pointe team had championed all year.

That said, South Pointe (10-1, 5-0) didn’t expect to be in this position: After trading possessions that resulted without a first down, and then a Greer drive that resulted in a blocked field goal, South Pointe drew first blood with a touchdown run by Quay Chambers — who broke two tackles for the score, earning every yard he notched.

Its next possession, after an interception by South Pointe’s Devontae Murphy, the Stallions capped off a drive that witnessed an O’Mega Blake 40-yard reception to get them to the one yard line followed by a power touchdown run by running back Nygel Moore. 14-0, South Pointe.

For a moment, South Pointe looked ready to run away with the contest.

But Greer would go on to score 21 unanswered points — two of which came before the half: The first was a 3:56 remaining in the second in the form of a six yard touchdown run from Greer quarterback Hollis Crosby; the second was with 37.8 seconds remaining in the form of a 56-yard reception from Crosby to Isaiah Foster.

Then, after the break, South Pointe picked up four first downs before its quarterback, Tahleek Steele, fumbled and Greer recovered. The Yellow Jackets took advantage the ensuing drive — ultimately ending a 6-yard punch-in by running back Najawuan Smith. 21-14, Greer.

The fourth quarter remained scoreless, but exciting. It started with South Pointe driving after recovering a Greer fumble on the last play of the third quarter. Then, there was another South Pointe takeaway in the form of a Blake interception.

And then there was the Stallions’ final drive — the one where they needed to drive 95 yards in 48 seconds. The one with the untimed down.

Steele took the snap, received pressure despite facing only three Greer pass rushers, chucked a pass to the near side in triple coverage and waited. The ball hung in the air for what felt like minutes, and then fell incomplete.

South Pointe’s season was over. It had been upset on the road.

“It was a crazy game,” South Pointe head coach DeVonte Holloman told The Herald on Friday night. “We hurt ourselves a lot, turning the football over, missing tackles, missing blocks, missing assignments. It boils down to discipline.”

South Pointe would finish 10-1, 5-0 — undefeated through the regular season and winless in the playoffs.

“I’m hurt for the group of seniors,” Holloman said. “For some of them, this could be their last time playing football. A lot of them played their hearts out tonight.

“We just didn’t make the plays we needed to make down the road to win this football game.”

Alex Zietlow covers sports for The Herald, where he has been an editor and reporter since August 2019. He graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in May 2019 and was a summer sports intern for The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., prior to coming to Rock Hill.