Bandy’s Running Game Stuns Spartans by Dan O’Neal
SAWMILLS, NC (September 6, 2019) — When arriving to Jack Clarke Field at the Press Pass gate, there were Coaches Dana Smith and Darren Hart to check me in. Since I chose not to wear my Pink Floyd t-shirt that evening, they almost did not allow me to enter (supposedly that is my “press pass”). I asked Dana what his thoughts were on the upcoming contest between South Caldwell and Bandy’s. Dana did not predict a winner; however, he did project a game in the 20’s and 30’s for both teams. Though South has greatly improved since the season before, the Spartans were out-gained and outscored by the visiting Trojans, with the final score being 34-24.
The Trojans, even with no completed passes along with twelve penalties for 115 yards, managed to run the football fifty-nine times for 313 yards. They were paced by Hunter Jones, who ran for 103 yards on seven carries along with Hunter Gilchrist with 77 yards on 18 touches. After leading only 13-8 at the half, the Trojans scored twice in the third frame and were aided by a Spartans fumble on the kickoff return that led to another Trojans touchdown on their next series. Bandy’s completed their scoring drives on a fourteen-yard run by Josh Williams through the Spartans defense to take the lead for good, 34-14 with 8:28 left in regulation.
But, South would not go away quietly. The Spartans stopped Bandy’s quarterback Parker Dehart in the end zone for a safety with 1:10 remaining in the game. After the ensuing kickoff, the Spartans only needed three plays as Spencer Piercy scored from nine yards out with an excellent lead block by Tristan Adkins, followed by a 2 point conversion toss from quarterback Avery Raynor to Piercy. Piercy led all rushers in the game with 138 yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns; the other was a “see ya” moment from twenty-six yards out. Raynor also rushed for 65 yards on fifteen carries and scored on a five yard quarterback keeper at the 1:49 mark in the first period, which was set up by an Aaron Kirby interception. Overall, South gained 225 yards on the ground.
The Spartans will continue to build on their 2019 season as they travel to Lenoir to take on the Hibriten Panthers, who came from behind to defeat Ashe County the previous week. If South is able to pull off the “stunner” over their other county rival, they will win the Caldwell Cup for the first time since the 2015 season. They are already 1-0 in the Caldwell Cup standings. Game time is 7:30pm.
Scoring by Quarters
Bandy’s – 13 0 15 6 – 34
South Caldwell – 8 0 6 10 -24