Spartans Win First Under Harvest Moon by Dan O’Neal
MARION, NC (October 6, 2017)…Might it have been that something in the atmosphere last Friday evening at McDowell High School worked in favor for the South Caldwell Spartans? Could they have possible scored two more touchdowns against West Caldwell the week prior had it been a Harvest Moon? Who is to say? Though there are some who play the superstition card when it comes to sporting events, it was more of the fact that the South Caldwell offense was very much hitting on all cylinders as they rightfully earned their first win of the 2017 season.
So, if I were giving recognition for the Spartans victory, the best way is to highlight each overall game performance.
1-The Coaching Staff- Mark Kirkpatrick and his assistants had an excellent game plan. There was absolutely nothing stodgy about the Spartans play selection as they amassed 444 total yards through four quarters and once again, won the clock control battle twenty-seven minutes to McDowell’s twenty-one. Spartan Nation also had to love the flee-flicker play with Jason Martin to Austin Raynor to Aaron Kirby for a thirty-three yard completion. After the game, Coach Kirkpatrick commented on how this game was for a playoff spot and how they were starting to roll in the right direction.
2-Skill players on offense- South used not one, not two, but three quarterbacks to combine for seven out of eleven pass completions and no interceptions. Martin was four for eight for 112 yards and a touchdown pass to Samuel Craig. Senior Jesse Martin connected with freshman Avery Raynor for seventeen yards. Get to know Raynor well as his star is on the rise while Austin Raynor went two for two. Will someone please tell me if Austin and Avery are brothers or first cousins. Come on, I do not know everything!!
Also, the Spartan offense had great success on the ground with Dustin Herman leading the way with 119 yards and two scores, Harley Sullivan with 42 yards and two scores along with a 2-point run, Spencer Piercy with 37 yards, Connor with 49 yards and a touchdown and Austin Raynor also punched one in from two yards out. Overall, they scored on seven of their twelve possessions.
3- The “O” Line- After the game, in talking with Martin and Piercy, they spoke of the way the offense got it done and made plays. These guys especially gave credit to the outstanding blocking effort of the offensive line. They spoke of the way they made a great push for the offensive backfield and receivers. Even the skill players did a super job of fending off the Titans defense.
4-The Spartans defensive unit,who forced two fumbles, eight quarterback sacks, picked off two Ben Ballew passes and held the Titans to forty-eight yards rushing.
Other notables from tonight- The McDowell Marching Band gave an excellent halftime performance with a Wizard of Oz theme. Under the harvest moon, have to admit seeing the Wicked Witch character made it, hmmmmm, I don’t know, kind of eerie.
Much humor with the crew in the press box tonight, especially the comments made regarding Cam Newton’s media blunder.
Congratulations to Spartans Cross Country, Track and Field and wrestling coach Dana Smith on his upcoming wedding this Saturday evening to Lara Jill Bowman.
South will be in in action this Friday night for their Homecoming game against Freedom. The Patriots enter the contest coming off a 33-27 setback against Alexander Central, making their overall record at 5-2. Kickoff is at 7:30pm. Come on back Harvest Moon? Nahhhhhhhh, if the Spartans win this one, it will be the same reason for their solid victory tonight, making solid plays!
Prayers for West Caldwell head football coach Devore Holman, who was recently hospitalized.
Scoring by Quarters
SC 0 26 13 7- 46
M 0 6 7 14- 27
-SC Raynor 2 run, kick failed, 11:27 2nd
-SC Herman 6 run, kick failed, 8:07 2nd
-M Ballew 19 pass to Ad.Randolph, kick failed 6:13 2nd
-SC Connor 1 run, kick failed, 3:35 2nd
-SC Sullivan 2 run, Martin pass, 2:18 2nd
-SC Martin 35 pass to Craig, kick blocked, 8:24 3rd
-SC Herman 33 run, Maysonet kick, 8:10 2nd
-M Ballew 20 pass to A.Randolph, Baird kick, 2:45 3rd
-SC Sullivan 3 run, Maysonet kick, 11:25 4th
-M Ad. Randolph 23 run, Baird kick, 2:49 4th
-M Ad.Randolph 4 pass to An. Randolph, Baird kick, 1:02 4th
First Downs SC-18 M- 10
Rushes/Yards SC 50-280 M 21-48
Passing Yards SC 164 M 240
Total Yards SC 444 M 288
Comp Att Int SC 7-11-0 M- 18-29-2
3rd Down Conv SC 3-8 M 5-9
4th Down Conv SC 1-3 M 0-0
Fumbles SC 1 M 2
Punting SC 1-34.0 M 3-34.0
Penalties SC 8-60 M 9-105
Time of Possession SC 27:00 M 21:00
SC: Rushing- Herman 14-119,2TD, Sullivan 11-42,2TD, Connor 8-49,TD, Piercy 4-37, Austin Raynor 7-21,TD, Craig 1-1, Martin 1- -2, Faro 2-11, Hilton 2-2; Passing- Martin 4-8-0 112,TD, Raynor 2-2-0 35, Connor 1-1-0 17; Receiving- Craig 3-74 TD, Raynor 1-38, Piercy 1-6, A.Kirby 1-33, Avery Raynor 1-17; McDowell- Olivo 6-19, Ad. Randolph 4-51, Cable 3-15, Ballew 8- -37; Passing- Ballew 15-26-2 218, 2TD, Ad. Randolph 3-3-0, TD; Receiving- An. Randolph 6-75, Phillips 2-9, D.Effler 3-31, B.Effler 3-63, Ad. Randolph 3-59,2TD, Pearson 1-4 TD