Raiders headed to Tabor City for playoffs; Eagles don't make cut

Nov. 09, 2013 @ 11:43 PM

Southern Vance didn’t get the automatic berth or conference title it was hoping for, but the Raiders did make it into the state playoffs.

Southern (5-6, 3-2) received the No. 15 seed in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 2-A playoffs and will travel this Friday to No. 2 South Columbus (8-3) of Tabor City.

The winner advances to face either No. 7 Eastern Randolph (7-4) or No. 10 Farmville Central (8-2) in the second round.

Southern lost 37-22 to Franklinton on Friday to fall to fourth place in the Northern Carolina Conference standings, one spot ahead of Warren County (5-6, 1-4). The Eagles were denied their first postseason bid since 2007.

South Columbus is the top seed out of the eight-team Three Rivers Conference. The Stallions and Raiders have never met on the football field.

“We’re just real excited to be in the playoffs,” said Southern head coach Lewis Young. “That’s what we play for all year, a chance to extend the season.”

Young said the Raiders had about 10 turnovers in the loss to Franklinton with a handful of fumbles, a few interceptions and some errors on kickoffs.

Southern fell behind 31-0 at halftime and registered the game’s final score with about four minutes to play in the game to get within 15 points.

Southern quarterback Ty-Traveon Roberts, who rushed for a score, threw touchdown passes to Deon Smith and Jeremiah Williams.

Young said his defense, which had held opponents to an average of less than 12 points over the last few games, performed well overall.

Warren County was in it early at Bunn, trailing 16-8 after one quarter before the Wildcats took a 30-8 lead into halftime.

“We shot ourselves repeatedly in the foot in the first half,” said Warren County head coach John Ward.

Warren County, which had four turnovers, was battling injuries and dressed only 25 or 26 players. A starting fullback, two defensive linemen, a defensive back, and a receiver were all on the shelf.

Ward was pleased with freshman Robert Steed, a junior varsity call-up that got the start at running back.

Jaquan Jones scored both touchdowns for the Eagles.

Contact the writer at kholtzman@hendersondispatch.com.