District 3 South Stadium had all the atmosphere of a championship game for Region 3-3A, though Friday night’s game between Lancaster and South Pointe did not officially decide the crown.
Stallions head coach Strait Herron reminded his team after the game that there is still business left to conduct. South Pointe got the upper hand on Lancaster Friday, making the most of limited opportunities in a 16-7 Region 3-3A victory.
“It’s just good that we are where we want to be right now, because if we win the region, it could set you up a lot better in the playoffs, (letting) you play three home games,”Herron said. “We’re right where we want to be. We’ve just got two more important ones coming. We’ve got to forget about records and all that stuff. Everybody wants to beat us, and we’ve got to go out and play our best game.”
The game was a slugfest for much of the first half, as the teams had seven combined possessions.
Lancaster struck first. Darius Robinson found Cordarius Tinsley on a 41-yard toss to put the Bruins ahead 7-0.
South Pointe returned fire just as quickly, with a 58-yard, 45-second drive capped by a one-yard Voshon St. Hill carry.
A 26-yard B.T. Potter field goal gave the Stallions a 10-7 lead three minutes into the third quarter. Lancaster began to charge on the next drive. The Bruins converted two fourth downs in the 76-yard drive, after a holding penalty made Lancaster start from its own 14, instead of the 40. The Lancaster drive ended at the South Pointe 10 when the Stallions recovered a Bruin fumble.
Lancaster found themselves forced to punt as the third quarter expired. Corey Lucas’ punt hit a South Pointe player, allowing Lancaster to recover on the South Pointe 49. The Bruin drive stalled, and an intentional grounding call left Lancaster with 4th and 25. Lancaster failed to convert, and South Pointe’s ensuing drive went 69 yards in 2:34, extending the South Pointe lead to 16-7, putting the game out of reach.
South Pointe had just four possessions in the second half – seven for the game – but those four possessions certainly counted. The Stallions answered a slow start by compiling 222 yards of offense in the second half. Herron’s defense clamped down in the second 24 minutes, too, holding the Bruins to 117 second-half yards. Robinson completed 2-of-8 passes in the second half, after having a solid first half.
“We knew going in, we told the defense that we’re going to have to step up, and we’re going to have to be physical,” Herron said. “We know they’re going to be a physical football team, and we’re going to have to step up and make some plays. We’re going to have to stop those running backs at the line of scrimmage to give us a chance.”
Greg Ruff had another solid night completing 13-of-21 passes for 139 yards and a score. Ruff also ran seven times for 113 yards. Zaylin Burris had six carries for 45 yards, adding two receptions for 26. Quay Brown had four catches for 70 yards.
Lancaster running back Ant Foster carried 23 times for 125 yards. Bruin wideout Cordarius Tinsley caught five throws for 87 yards.
Herron spoke after the game of the adjustments his team made on defense in the second half.
“They were doing something a little different than what we were expecting, running differently to the tight end we (weren’t) expecting. We just made an adjustment and kind of did the same thing on both sides, and it worked out for us a little better. It’s still hard to stop them.”
South Pointe 16, Lancaster 7
L – Darius Robinson 41 pass to Cordarius Tinsley (Trevor Lathan kick) 5:07
SP – Voshon St. Hill 1 run (B.T. Potter kick) 4:17
SP – Potter 26 field goal 9:26
SP – Ruff 5 pass to Zaylin Burris (kick blocked) 4:44
RUSHING Lancaster: Ant Foster 23-125; Farrika Grier 11-40; Darius Robinson 11-(minus) 2; Cordarius Tinsley 1-9. South Pointe: Voshon St. Hill 13-54; Greg Ruff 7-113; Zaylin Burris 6-45.
PASSING Lancaster: Darius Robinson 11-22-0-140 yards. South Pointe: Greg Ruff 13-21-0-139 yards.
RECEIVING Lancaster: Kendric Shropshire 1-10; Cordarius Tinsley 5-87; James Killian 1-6; Ant Foster 1-8; Desmond Stowers 1-15; DeMonte Bell 1-10; Taron Heath 1-4. South Pointe: Quay Brown 4-70; Josh Wilkes 1-8; Nick McCloud 3-19; Derion Kendrick 1-13; Voshon St. Hill 2-7; Quay Brice 1-1; Zay Burris 2-26.
RECORDS Lancaster 7-1 (2-1 Region 3-3A); South Pointe 7-1 (3-0).
On deck: Lancaster hosts Union County next Friday; South