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Red Tornadoes Win on Buzzer Beater by Dan O’Neal

SAWMILLS, NC (October 20, 2017)…It is commonplace for many a basketball game to have those “buzzer beater” wins. However, these also happen occasionally in football. This was the case last Friday at Spartan Stadium as wideout Jaekwon Staton caught a tipped ball thrown in desperation by Hickory quarterback Derrien Phillips from thirty-eight yards out on fourth down as the clock ran out. This last second score came after Spartans placekicker Carlos Maysonet kicked a 32 yard field goal which looked to be the winning points for the Spartans with thirty-six seconds left in regulation. Even though the Hickory Cheer Squad banner read “This Game Is About to Go South For the Spartans”, had it not been for Staton being in the right place at the right time in the end zone, it would have been a 23-21 victory for South. Instead, with that “immaculate reception”, Hickory won by the count of 27-23 leaving the Spartans at 1-9 with two games left in the regular season. So much for that blowout that was predicted by local high school football pundits and NCPreps message board posters.

Since South Caldwell and McDowell are the only Class 4A schools in their respected conference, and with South having defeated McDowell previously, the Spartans have pretty much qualified for the state playoffs. Would it not be amazing if the Spartans enter the playoff with one, two, three wins and  pull off an opening round stunner. What should be noted is that these younger varsity players are improving every game and though high school football is abroad is mostly predictable, anything can happen and number one seeds have been knocked off in first round games; seldom does that occur, but not impossible. Stay tuned Spartan Nation! You guys support your young people beautifully. And to the Spartans coaching staff…outstanding work you guys are accomplishing. These kids are fun to watch.

For the Spartans, senior all-purpose running back Harley Sullivan led all rushers with 102 yards on nineteen carries and a touchdown along with three catches for fifty-five yards, sophomore quarterback Jason Martin connected on thirteen of nineteen passes for 168 yards and the “Sophomore Slingshot Connection” made for a forty yard touchdown completion just before halftime. Spencer Piercy, another sophomore standout, led all receivers with four catches for thirty-eight yards and an interception. However, the game’s most outstanding play was not the “Hail Marianne” pass by Phillips, or even the forty yard Spartans sophomore slingshot connection score. Rather it was Phillips being picked off by Spartans safety Aaron Kirby, who intercepted his pass on a first and goal from the Spartans nine yard line and returned the pick six for ninety-one yards. Aaron, save that youtube video. You should never forget an accomplishment so spectacular!

“Great effort thought on the part of our kids. It was a tough way to end the game but am pleased with the way our guys played solid through four quarters. We changed our game plan in throwing more to get Hickory’s defense out of the box. Those screens and slants worked well for us. We also had a good game defensively” commented Spartans Head Coach Marc Kirkpatrick.

South travels to Hickory this Friday evening to face Saint Stephens, who recently pulled off an upset against Watauga. Game time is at 7pm.


Congratulations to Morgan Mitchum on being selected as the South Caldwell. Homecoming Queen.

To Koby Hilton of South Caldwell and Richie Benoit of Hickory High School, well done on getting net yardage on your kickoff returns. For future reference, run those harder!

Thank you Spartan Regiment for your lovely rendition of Amazing Grace and the Old Hundreth version of the Doxology. Take that American Civil Liabilities, ooops, Liberties Union

Scoring By Quarters

H 7 7 0 13- 27

SC 0 6 0 17- 23

Scoring Summary

H- Staton 34 run, Boston kick, 10:18 1st

H- Byrd 30 run, Boston kick, 11:51 2nd

SC-Martin 40 pass to Raynor, :21 2nd

SC- Sullivan 8 run, pass failed, 11:55 4th

SC-Kirby 91 interception return, 8:36 4th

H-Phillips 9 run, Boston kick, 6:15 4th

SC-Maysonet 32 FG, :36 4th

H-Phillips 38 pass to Staton, :00 4th

Game Statistics

First Downs    H 9  SC 19

Rushes/Yards  H 24-191    SC 52-155

Passing Yards  H 139    SC 168

Total Yards   H 330   SC 323

Comp Att Int   H 10-19-2    SC 13-19-0

3rd Down Conversions H1-2    SC 6-13

4th Down conversions H 0-0 SC 0-3

Penalties/Yards   H 8-100   SC 8-65

Punting   H 3-36.1   SC 1- 26.1

Fumbles/Lost   H 2/2   SC 0/0

Time of Possession   H 14:36   SC 33:24

Individual Stats

H: Rushing- Sadler 7-53, Phillips 7-32,TD, Parks 1-34,TD, Byrd 8-64,TD, Rinehart 1-8; Passing- Phillips 10-19-2,TD; Receiving- Staton 7-121,TD, Parks 2-23, Byrd 1- -5

SC: Rushing- Sullivan 19-102, Raynor 9-19, Connor 8-31, Piercy 3-15, Herman 9-15, Martin 4- -27; Passing- Martin 13-19-0 168, TD; Receiving- Piercy 4-38, Sullivan 3-55, Craig 2-33, Raynor 2-46,TD, Nash 1-5, Sumner 1-1