South Pointe scored the first and last 14 points of a lightning-delayed 35-21 win over York Friday night.
The Stallions, who ended York’s 20-game non-region winning streak, led 14-0 when lightning sent the teams hurrying to the locker rooms with 2 minutes, 20 seconds left in the first quarter, about 8:10 p.m. After a delay of nearly an hour and a half, the game resumed.
Greg Ruff’s 38-yard TD run and Nick McCloud’s 33-yard interception return for a touchdown had the Stallions in control pre-delay, but York came out of the break with a strong drive, capped by Tyquan McCray’s 6-yard scoring run, which halved the deficit to 14-7.
South Pointe quicky extended the lead, highly-touted sophomore Derion Kendrick taking a wildcat direct snap before sprinting by a nice edge-sealing block from McCloud and weaving his way to a 57-yard touchdown. But York answered with its own fast-twitch star, Wally Wilmore hauling in a quick slant pass for 44 yards and six points to cut the Stallions’ lead to 21-14.
Neither team scored in the third quarter, before York tied the game on a Wilmore touchdown pass to Preston Robinson. The receiver bounced off tacklers to make it 21 all, but South Pointe got a pair of touchdown catches from Josh Wilkes in the final seven minutes of the game to claim the win.
With the score tied 21 all, Kendrick called a fake punt, taking a direct snap 26 yards for a first down that prolong a South Pointe offensive possession and led to the first of Wilkes’ two late touchdowns. South Pointe planned to run the fake after noticing York had only nine players on the field. The Cougars called timeout, but the Stallions decided to run the fake anyway.
“I knew how close we were so I just took it in my hands and put my team on my back,” said Kendrick.
“I wish we’d have just gone ahead and snapped it,” said South Pointe coach Strait Herron. “It was there, so he took it.”
South Pointe bounced back from a slow start after the lightning delay. York grabbed the momentum coming out of the hour-plus stoppage, but the Stallions were able to dust themselves off and win the fourth quarter.
“We haven’t done a good job coming out of halftime,” said Herron. “Both games that we’ve played we just came out in the third quarter really, really sluggish. We did the same thing. I might try to come up with a way to practice it and see if we can’t get better at it.”
Kendrick was a game-changer for South Pointe.
“He’s a great athlete and I’m just looking forward to watching him play for us for a while,” said Herron. “He’s definitely part of the future of South Pointe football.”
The Stallions also got big performances from Ruff, who threw two TD passes and ran for another, and Ruff’s favorite target, Quay Brown, who had seven catches, six of which went for first downs.
“That No. 1 (Kendrick), and that No. 16 (Ruff), they’re incredible football players,” said York coach Bobby Carroll, “and they hurt us tonight.”
Sophomore defensive end Eli Adams was also a force for the Stallions, recording a pair of sacks in the second half.
“They jumped on us quick and the momentum was in their favor and the good Lord sent a little storm in here on us,” said Carroll. “It kind of knocked their momentum off. Our kids fought back, but their athletes just put on a show.”
South Pointe travels to north Charlotte next week to face Vance (N.C.), one of the best teams in North Carolina. York hosts Chester.
South Pointe 35, York 21
South Pointe;14;7;0;14- 35
SPHS -- Greg Ruff 38 run (B.T. Potter kick), 10:16
SPHS -- Nick McCloud 33 yard interception return (kick blocked), 9:06
YCHS -- Tyquan McCray 6 run (Myles Prosser kick), 9:37
SPHS -- Derion Kendrick 57 run (Potter kick), 4:02
YCHS -- Wally Wilmore 44 pass from Cameron McKinney (Prosser kick), 0:51
YCHS -- Preston Robinson 26 pass from Wilmore (Prosser kick), 10:02
SPHS -- Josh Wilkes 6 pass from Ruff (Potter kick), 6:59
SPHS -- Wilkes 14 pass from Ruff (Potter kick), 3:15
RUSHING York: Cameron McKinney 6-(-2); Antonio Hardy 2-11; Tyquan McCray 5-13; Brandon Garvin 6-21; Paul Moore 10-36; Wally Wilmore 4-32; Ke’Trael Lytle 1-(-2). South Pointe: Voshon St. Hill 16-52; Derion Kendrick 4-93; Greg Ruff 12-67; Denzel Jackson 3-4.
PASSING York: McKinney 9-13-1, 99 yards; Wilmore 3-3-0, 33 yards. South Pointe: Ruff 19-30-0, 226 yards.
RECEIVING York: Shandon Cobb 2-5; Hardy 1-9; Wilmore 5-79; Preston Robinson 2-32; Kamian McClain 1-5; Lytle 1-2. South Pointe: Quay Brown 7-87; Lorenzo Wells 1-13; Geomni Mayfield 1-14, Josh Wilkes 3-38; St. Hill 4-33; Paul-Michael Potter 2-38; Chris Smith 1-3;
RECORDS South Pointe 3-0; York 2-1