Wildcats Hold Off Mustangs
BY JOHN KRAHNERT III
The North Moore football team came up just short against South Davidson Friday, dropping a close 22-16 decision in Yadkin Valley Conference play.
The visiting Mustangs (0-6, 0-2 YVC) took an 8-6 lead in the first quarter and seemed to control the pace of the game early, but South Davidson (1-5, 1-1 YVC) came back to take a 22-8 lead into halftime.
The Mustang defense played its best half of the year in the second frame, shutting out the Wildcats and giving its offense a chance to make something happen. North Moore was able to cut the South Davidson lead to six with 7:06 to play and got the ball back with about four minutes to go, but was unable to complete the comeback.
Head coach Greg Simmons was proud of the way his defense clamped down.
"Coach (Mike) West and the defensive coaches did an awesome job making adjustments at halftime," he said. "The kids did a great job at executing them and then they just played their butts off in that second half. That's the best we've played on defense all year. Hats go off to our defensive coaching staff and the defensive players."
After trading three-and-outs to start the game, South Davidson got on the scoreboard first when running back Matthew Bryant found the endzone on a 6-yard scamper with 7:41 to go in the first quarter. The Wildcats' two-point -conversion attempt failed when North Moore's Trevor Farquharson picked off quarterback Jordan Hughes.
The Mustangs responded with a nearly seven-minute, 65-yard drive capped by a 6-yard Xavier Scotton touchdown run. Scotton scored the two-point conversion himself to make the score 8-6 with 55 seconds to go in the quarter.
North Moore defensive back Landon Auman snagged his first of two interceptions on the night on South Davidson's next possession, but the subsequent Mustang drive stalled. On the fourth down punt attempt, the snap sailed over punter Tyler Wallace's head, forcing him to cover it on the North Moore 9-yard line.
South Davidson wasted little time taking advantage of the prime field position. Hughes hit Zack Strother for a 6-yard score, putting the Wildcats back on top 14-8 with 5:27 to go in the half. The Mustangs lost a fumble on the first play of their next possession
Auman picked off Hughes again on the first play of the next South Davidson drive but fumbled, giving the ball right back to the Wildcats on the North Moore 11.
Aiding the runner and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties backed South Davidson into a long third-and-goal situation, but Hughes tossed the ball to running back Brannon Haneline, who then threw it to Ryan Craver for a 14-yard touchdown with 3:13 remaining the in half.
The two teams played to a stalemate throughout the third quarter, with each side punting twice. South Davidson stuffed North Moore on fourth down on its first fourth quarter possession. But the Wildcats coughed up a fumble, giving the ball back to to the Mustangs.
Starting on the 33-yard line on the next drive, Scotton hurdled to midfield on a 17-yard run. A 13-yard run by Jamar Brower on the next play plus a a couple of South Davidson penalties moved North Moore into the redzone. Running back Darius Green busted a 6-yard touchdown run to make the score 22-16 with 7:06 remaining.
The North Moore defense stepped up big again, -stop-ping the next Wildcat drive.
The Mustangs got the ball back with 4:05 to go, but a holding penalty on first down backed them up. Wallace's third-down pass attempt was picked off and South Davidson was able to run out the clock.
"The kids just gotta keep their heads up," Simmons said. "We just got to keep working, and I've told you this a thousand times and I'm going to say it every time, we're going to do things the right way, I don't care how long it takes. We're going to do things the right way."
North Moore returns home this week to face North Rowan on homecoming.
Contact John Krahnert III at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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