Surging Southern battling for league title
Southern Vance had perhaps its most complete offensive performance of the season in Friday’s 35-14 win over Warren County.
And for the second consecutive week, the Raiders’ defense limited a team that prides itself on pounding the football offensively.
The back-to-back wins over Warren County and South Granville have Southern (4-5, 2-1) in a four-way tie atop the 2-A Northern Carolina Conference standings with South Granville, Bunn and Franklinton.
The Raiders held Warren County (5-4, 1-2) to below 200 rushing yards and under 30 points for the first time since a Week 4 loss to Northern Nash.
Southern head coach Lewis Young credited defensive linemen Jaquez Bullock, Maurice Howard and Charlie Kersey with strong play, adding Juwan Harris’ switch from defensive end to cornerback proved effective.
“He did a heck of a job stepping up in there and also playing out on the receivers when he had to,” Young said of Harris. “He did an excellent job all the way around.”
Southern had lost four straight prior to the South Granville game, including a 41-6 defeat to Bunn to open league play.
Harris said the Raiders are doing a better job of meeting the ball carrier and finishing tackles.
“Sending the pressure on the quarterback, wrapping up real well,” said Harris. “We’re bringing down people for the tackle.”
Southern running back Qualik Shearin was tough to bring down Friday, rushing for around 110 yards and a touchdown. He also had a 60-yard scoring reception from quarterback Ty-Traveon Roberts, who threw for three more touchdowns on his way to 140 passing yards.
Roberts found receiver Shawn Henderson twice for scores on fade routes, one on the right side of the end zone and the other on the left.
Henderson caught an 8-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter to give Southern the lead for good. He came down with the leaping catch despite being closely defended by Warren County’s Jaquan Jones.
“Our players did everything they could to stop him and he made the plays,” Warren County head coach John Ward said of Henderson.
Ward was without starting running back Chris Privett, also a linebacker, as well as fullback Devonte Hargrove.
“Devonte Hargrove is a football player,” said Ward. “He’s not just a back. When we run real well, our offensive line and our fullback is the key to that. And he is that fullback and we sorely miss him. It’s hurting us badly.”
Warren County visits South Granville (7-2, 2-1) this week while Southern hosts Roanoke Rapids.
WC — Dennis Waddell 1 pass from Jaquan Jones (Jones pass from Dyami Wortham), 10:12.
SV — Qualik Shearin 4 run (Henderson pass from Ty-Traveon Roberts), 9:18.
SV — Shawn Henderson 8 pass from Roberts (Roberts run), 3:20.
SV — Henderson 10 pass from Roberts (pass failed), 6:53.
SV — Shearin 60 pass from Roberts (Will Pernell kick), 1:33.
SV — Deandre Jefferson 30 pass from Roberts (kick failed), 10:09.
WC — Jones 7 run (run failed), 3:32.
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