Titans Crash Spartans Homecoming Party by Dan O’Neal

SAWMILLS, NC (October 5, 2018) — Oh the joys of Homecoming; you know, young men and ladies dressed elegantly to the nines, queen and maid of honor going for a ride around the track and waving to the crowd in upscale golf carts, listening to Justin Jackson give a triumphant a cappella rendition of the National Anthem (Whitney was most assuredly smiling!), the Spartan Regiment with yet another rocking halftime show, seeing the football field sprinklers going off with seventeen seconds before halftime (might this have been a homecoming prank, who’s to say?) and the ever and always family atmosphere in the press box.

A shout out of congratulations to Maggie Hamby on being selected as South Caldwell Homecoming Queen for 2018 and Cheyenne Brinkley being chosen as Maid of Honor; yes, it is a good thing that it is no longer referred to as runner-up. All that it takes now is for the home team Spartans to get that Homecoming victory.

For the first eight minutes of the first quarter, things were really looking up for the Spartans. After going three and out on their first series, they forced a McDowell fumble at the 8:20 mark. Six plays later, platoon quarterback Avery Raynor, being in the grasp of a McDowell defender, lofted a pass to Samuel Craig, who juked three Titans defenders and ran down the sideline for the game’s first score. This was such a spectacular moment that South assistant coaches James and Esslinger tackled each other on the sideline.

Then on the first play of McDowell’s next series, Gavin Nash picked off Titans’ quarterback Adam Randolph at the 5:42 mark of the first frame. After the interception, Titans’ head coach Andy Morgan quickly called a greatly needed timeout. From there the Titans’ defense held the Spartans to only fourteen yards on their next series. The Titans would then score their first touchdown of the contest on a six-play eighty-yard drive as tailback Julio Olivo ran through the Spartans’ defense from fourteen yards out, putting the Titans up 7-6.

After that score at the 1:01 mark of the opening period, McDowell would score on their next seven of eight series and were greatly the beneficiary of numerous South penalties, which certainly hindered many Spartans’ scoring drives. Titans quarterback Randolph completed twelve of fourteen passes and two touchdowns for 301 yards while tailback Olivo carried the football twenty-eight times for 157 yards and four touchdowns resulting in McDowell spoiling the Spartans Homecoming bid by the count of 48-28.

On the offensive side of the football, South was once again led by Spencer Piercy who gained 82 yards on nine carries. Avery Raynor carried the football eleven times for 51 yards and a score while Isaiah Kirby ran the football eight times for 43 yards and a score and also threw a supersonic 75-yard halfback pass to Austin Raynor. Platoon quarterbacks Jason Martin and Raynor combined on twelve of twenty-three passes for 173 yards. Overall, the Spartans gained 423 yards from scrimmage. However, being flagged fifteen times for 155 yards along with surrendering 509 yards of total yards to the Titans did not help the Spartans cause.

South will take to the road this Friday night as travel to Morganton for a conference matchup with Freedom. Game time is set for 7:30pm.