Southern defense shines in win over Northern
Northern Vance is off to an 0-4 start this season, but the team’s offense had been relatively productive in the its first three games.
But Northern, which entered Friday’s match against rival Southern Vance averaging about 21 points per game, was outgained on offense by 203 yards in the 33-8 loss.
The Vikings tallied 156 yards of total offense as they watched the Raiders hoist the Optimist Bowl trophy for the fifth consecutive time and 10th time in the last 11 years. Southern (2-1) now leads the all-time series 13-11.
“To hold them down as well as we did, I was really proud of them,” said Southern head coach Lewis Young.
Northern didn’t get a first down in the second half until the 10:42 mark of the fourth quarter.
The Raiders held the Vikings to 82 rushing yards and ran for 209 yards of their own led by senior Qualik Shearin’s 116 yards.
Shearin said he likes to avoid getting hit. That sure showed in his game Friday as he juked and spun around Northern defenders all night.
“I try to run away from everybody,” said Shearin. “I don’t like to get hit. I’m going to run as fast as I can to the touchdown or a first down.”
The senior running back had a big 61-yard scoring reception from quarterback Ty-Traveon Roberts in the second quarter to put the Raiders up two touchdowns.
A Southern penalty negated what would have been a spectacular 54-yard rushing score for Shearin, who burst through multiple waves of Viking defenders, breaking tackles as he exploded down the right sideline. The third-quarter run still put the Raiders inside Northern’s 10-yard line and William Henderson capped the one-minute, six-second drive.
“I’m impressed with Qualik,” said Northern head coach Eric Watkins, Shearin’s second cousin. “He’s been doing a good job. He did an outstanding job tonight. I’m impressed with him.”
Watkins was upset with Northern’s two turnovers.
One came on the kick following Shearin’s touchdown reception. Southern’s Laronta Durham scooped it up and ran it in for a touchdown.
Jeremiah Williams also had a scoop and score for the Raiders, grabbing Roberts’ fumble on offense and taking it 40 yards to the house.
“We’ve been talking all week about scoop and score, scoop and score,” said Young. “We don’t like to fall on it. We like to scoop and score. That’s what we’ve been teaching.”
Southern had the edge in experience with 19 seniors to Northern’s 10 although Young has been quick to point out that a number of his older players lack experience. Shearin and Roberts are each first-year starters at running back and quarterback, respectively.
“Some of the first-year guys, it’s really important for them to have that kind of confidence early,” said Young.
Southern put up 359 yards of total offense, but racked up 13 penalties for 95 yards. Northern had only three penalties for 25 yards.
The Raiders visit Northern Nash next while the Vikings return to action Sept. 27 against Southern Durham.
NV — Devin Anderson 10-27, Tamaj Bullock 11-10, Kris Haywood 15-20, Trakey Evans 1-20 (1), Michael Spinner 1-2, Jonas Simmons 1-10; SV —Ty-Traveon Roberts 9-27 (1), Qualik Shearin 9-116, William Henderson 5-32 (1), Sheldon Smith 3-9.
NV — Haywood 5-15-74; SV — Roberts 6-13-150 (1)
NV — Anderson 1-10, Quavon Harris 2-59, Evans 1-3, Spinner 1-12; SV — Shawn Henderson 3-71, Deon Smith 2-18, Shearin 1-61 (1)SV — Ty-Traveon Roberts 7 run (kick failed), 7:14, 1st.
SV — Jeremiah Williams 40 fumble return (Will Pernell kick), 2:23, 1st.
NV — Trakey Evans 20 run (fake field goal failed), 3:42, 2nd.
SV — Roberts 61 pass Qualik Shearin (Pernell kick), 3:20, 2nd.
SV — Laronta Durham 18 fumble return (Pernell kick), 3:00, 2nd.
SV — William Henderson 8 run (kick failed), 2:14, 3rd.
NV — Safety, 8:05, 4th.
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