Southern springs 12-6 upset at South Columbus
Southern Vance head coach Lewis Young had a simple message for his team following a surprising 12-6 win at South Columbus Friday.
“That’s Raider football,” Young told his players in the postgame huddle.
Southern, a 15-seed, held No.2 South Columbus to 65 yards of total offense in the second half to earn a trip to the second round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 2-A playoffs.
The Raiders (6-6) will travel to No. 7 Eastern Randolph (8-4) next week. The Wildcats knocked off No. 10 Farmville Central (8-3) Friday.
A number of Southern players were overcome with emotion when the clock ran out on the upset win.
Even Young got a little teary-eyed.
“It was just so emotional to get the win and to see the guys come together,” said the Southern head coach.
South Columbus (8-4) entered the contest averaging more than 40 points, but was held scoreless in the second half Friday with its prolific rushing attack limited to 59 second-half yards.
“Just unbelievable,” said Southern senior lineman Ja’Quez Bullock, who plays offense and defense. “This team was No. 2 in our playoff bracket. Everyone doubted us. They even scored 72 on a team and we held them to six points.”
“Southern has always been known for a great defense and tonight it showed,” added Bullock. “It really showed tonight.”
Juwan Harris had two sacks for the Raiders and Young credited Sheldon Smith and Isaiah Leveille with limiting South Columbus’ feature backs, Dashaun Daniels and Reggie Frink, although the pair combined for 186 rushing yards.
The Raiders’ defense recovered two fumbles and held Stallion quarterback Quinlan Hammond to negative rushing yards.
Southern quarterback Ty-Traveon Roberts had a big night on the ground with 137 yards on 23 carries and both Raider touchdowns.
The second one, from 21 yards, broke a deadlock at 6 and put Southern ahead for good with 7:34 to play in the third quarter.
Roberts, who threw three interceptions, also kept the chains moving late in the fourth quarter to seal the win and pinned the Stallions inside their 5-yard line with a well-executed fourth-quarter pooch punt.
The win was reminiscent of Southern’s 22-14 upset of South Granville earlier this season.
“I kind of expected our guys to play at this level,” said Young. “We’ve seen that flash before. Now, we’re just trying to put it together. I think they’re gelling together a little bit.”
Running back Qualik Shearin added 92 rushing yards for Southern.
SV — Ty-Traveon Roberts 1 run (kick failed), 5:56.
SC — Dashaun Daniels 4 run (run failed), 10:08.
SV — Roberts 21 run (pass failed), 7:34.
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