Red Devils survive scare from Mustangs

First Posted: 9/26/2014

RED SPRINGS — After a close first half, the Red Springs football team exploded out of the gate in the third quarter, posting 21 points to jump out in an eventual 34-28 win in the Red Devils’ conference opener against South Robeson on Friday.

“We were able to run the ball like we thought we could,” said Red Springs coach Ron Cook. “You could see in the first half, they kept us to seven. We didn’t change much in the second half, we just executed.”

The Red Devils took a 28-12 lead heading into the fourth quarter and seemed to have the game locked up, but South Robeson didn’t go down without a fight.

“We could have easily folded at 28-12, but they fought like crazy to make it a 28-28 ballgame,” Mustang coach Clay Jernigan said. “We tied it up with a minute to go in the game when we gave up a touchdown with about 40 seconds to go in the game to make it 34-28.”

It was the first time that Cook and Jernigan have gone head-to-head since coaching together at Lumberton last year.

The second half saw 55 points scored after the two teams combined for only a single touchdown, on for Red Springs, in the first. The touchdown was on a fumble recovery by Ron Alexander.

“It was a close ball game at halftime,” Jernigan said. “It was a back and forth game most of the first half. We had a bad snap that went over the punter’s head and that’s how they scored early.”

After the tight first half of play, Jernigan said Red Springs shifted its attack, finding a few plays that they were able to take advantage of.

“They got outside of us,” Jernigan said. “We weren’t expecting them to run the ball as much as they did. They had a sweep and a trap that they exploited against us.”

The Red Devils had three touchdowns by DeAndre Hallman, two on the ground and one from the air, and Eric Graham also scored.

Cook said a key for his team was to carry over fundamentals, such as tackling and holding onto the ball, from the bye week last Friday. The turnover-prone Red Devils limited their giveaways Friday.

“We had to really focus on fundamentals,” Cook said “It definiately had a part in helping out and we’re seeing results in the game.”

Pirates top New Hanover

LUMBERTON — After two straight losses that followed a three-game win streak to open the season, the Lumberton football team got back in the winning groove with a 27-17 win against New Hanover.

“It was a really good game,” said Lumberton coach Mike Setzer. “They’re a very very challenging team and I feel like we played our best so far.”

The Pirates (4-2) got a few key players back, including running back Josh Sheridan and defensive back Travis Suggs, and had three touchdowns behind quarterback Josh Smith, who stepped into the starting role this week.

A week after coming into the game against Hoggard, Smith finished 12-for-15 passing for 45 yards and had 85 rushing yards in his first start.

“The team rallied behind Josh tonight,” Setzer said. “Josh really performed under the lights. He’s a gamer.”

He and Sheridan, who ran for 110 yards, found holes that Setzer credited to strong play from the line.

“Our o-line played lights out,” he said.

Suggs had limited playing time and was a game-time decision due to a feared possible torn labrum but was cleared and had a key interception.

“He came in and made big plays,” Setzer said.

It was the team’s final game before a bye week prior to the start of Southeastern Conference play. Setzer said the team will use the extra time to get healthy and also fine tune its game before starting play against Pinecrest on Oct. 10.

“There’s so many aspects we need to take care of this week, so that’s what were gonna do,” he said.