Southside obliterates KIPP Pride to move on

Published 12:18 am Saturday, November 26, 2016

CHOCOWINITY — Southside scored more touchdowns this week than it did points last week. The Seahawks scored nine times in a 60-8 decimation of KIPP Pride to advance to the third round.

They scored thrice on their first four offensive plays and never looked back.

“The offense showed up to play this week,” Southside coach Jeff Carrow said. “I tell the team, ‘It’s playoffs. I don’t care how we win. Win by one, win by six, win by 20 or more, it doesn’t matter. Just move on.’”

The Pride received the game’s opening kickoff. It started an almost seven-minute drive at its 34-yard line. It meticulously marched down the field, picking up a pair of third-down and a fourth-down conversion along the way.

It stalled out shy of the end zone, turning the ball over on downs at Southside’s 10. The Seahawks weren’t lulled to sleep by the long drive, though. On the next play, Zikajah Crawford ran to the right, broke a tackle and exploded 90 yards for the game’s first touchdown.

KIPP Pride tried to answer the fast score, but only picked up one first down before sputtering out again. Like clockwork, the Seahawks took only one play to find the end zone again. This time it was Kyle Hill ripping off a 57-yard run.

A bad snap and false start helped Southside’s defense stymie the Pride again. A third turnover on downs gave the Seahawks the ball near midfield, where Trajan Rhome proceeded to get things started with a pickup of 22. Quarterback Marshall Medlock hit a wide-open Cody Modlin for a 26-yard touchdown on the second play of the drive. Crawford punched in the 2-point conversion to give the home side a 21-0 lead with 11:34 left in the second quarter.

Crawford continued to make an impact. He came up with an interception near midfield, and then scored on a 39-yard run on the following drive. It was the first of three Pride turnovers in the quarter. Brandon Sullivan recovered a fumble on the first play of the visitors’ next drive. Southside again capitalized with a 34-yard touchdown connection between Medlock and Demetrius Ebron.

“Our defense has been playing well all year — forcing stuff, keeping us in ball games, helping us win ball games,” Carrow said. “That’s a huge factor right now.”


Ebron later came up with an interception deep in Southside territory. Medlock continued moving the ball through the air with a sideline pass to Crawford, who hauled it in and booked it for a gain of 78. Hill scampered in from 7 yards out two plays later.

The Pride got on the board before halftime. Roughing the passer and facemask penalties helped the visitors move the ball, but Southside still owned an overwhelming 41-8 advantage at the intermission.

“(The defense) did an outstanding job,” Carrow said. “I thought our secondary did really well when they were forced to throw a little bit. … They went up and got the ball. (Ebron) did an outstanding job tonight, and Joe (Myers) in the secondary. Upfront, we did better. We made some corrections after the first drive. They started sticking it, forcing them to a spread look, which works to our advantage.”

Southside added two touchdowns in the third quarter to get a running clock, and iced the game with one final blow in the fourth. The offense remained efficient when Crawford bolted 40 yards into the end zone on the first play of the second half. Hill notched a 21-yard pick six to give the Seahawks a 54-8 lead with 4:15 left in the third period.

Will Warren, who relieved Medlock, kept 16 yards for a first down. It also set up a 10-yard touchdown by Jamari Nelson that put away the Pride.

Southside ran just 28 plays, earning 17.3 yards per snap and outgaining the Pride 483-187. Medlock finished the game 3-of-4 passing for 137 yards and two scores. Crawford led the ground assault with five carries for 183 yards and three touchdowns.

Southside, the No. 2 seed in its bracket, moves on to host No. 5 Northampton County in the third round. The Jaguars upset No. 1 Southeast Halifax, 42-14, on Friday. The two met in the second round of last year’s playoffs.