Southside comes out meekly at Riverside, falls to the Knights

Published 11:51 pm Friday, October 19, 2018

WILLIAMSTON — It was a tale of two halves tonight for Southside, as the Seahawks outscored Riverside in the second half after starting the game rather flatly. Unfortunately for Southside, the Knights took a 27-point lead into the halftime break to eventually defeat the Seahawks, 33-8.

“I think we had a slow start in the first half. I think the defense was more physical than the offense was coming out. I think offensively we came out and we came out soft,” Southside head coach Jeff Carrow said. “Made some adjustments in the second half. I felt like we did much better offensively. We switched some positions around, got some other guys some looks and started clicking a little bit out of our base formation and just doing what we typically do. So, we were going back to basics with it and we were able to move the ball some.”

After having issues moving the ball in the first half, the Seahawks (2-5, 0-3 1A Coastal Plains Conference) began moving the ball in the second. Staring the third quarter at its own 4, Southside put together a methodical drive with runs by Hayden Mayo, Aeron Wright, Kenjray Coffield and Hundley Stallings, who was put in at quarterback in the second half, while normal starter Will Warren moved out to wide receiver.

But as the Seahawks looked poised to get some points on the board, Riverside (8-1, 4-0 1A CPC) came up with a sack of Stallings, bringing up fourth down from the Knights’ 33. Luke Matthews came on to attempt the 40-yard field goal, but his attempt fell just short, keeping the score at 27-0 in favor of Riverside.

Riverside scored on its next possession on a 7-yard run from Matthew Leavelle, who finished with a game-high 99 rush yards and two scores. A pair of long runs from Nakwon Burns put the Knights into position to score.

After a turnover on downs from both squads, the Seahawks began a drive in the fourth quarter on the Knights’ 37. A big completion from Stallings to Wright put Southside in the red zone, setting up the Seahawks to eventually score. On fourth and goal from the 12, the sophomore backup quarterback Stallings lofted a pass to the senior Warren for a touchdown.

Carrow said moving Warren, who also plays basketball and is a high jumper for Southside, out to receiver and putting the young Stallings in at QB is just a way to get more options on the field.

“Sliding Will (Warren) to receiver just gives another aspect. He’s an athletic dude and he can catch the ball out there, and it gives the defense something to think about too when you got two quarterbacks on the field,” Carrow said. “Hundley (Stallings) has been progressing all year long. And getting him some more snaps, quality snaps is just going to help us. I feel like we got two solid quarterbacks. But to be able to utilize Will’s athletic ability, we can switch him out, put him in different positions. That’s part of the deal with that, and Hundley’s progression as a quarterback just keeps growing. It’s a plus for us.”

While Southside outscore the Knights, 8-6, in the second half, Riverside, led by Leavelle, took it to the Seahawks during the first two quarters. Leavelle opened the game’s scoring hauling in a 34-yard touchdown reception and added a 56-yard scoring run on Riverside’s next play on offense after a Southside fumble. Showcasing all of his skills, Leavelle tossed a 35-yard touchdown pass to Ben Beach with 10:47 left in the second quarter. Riverside’s Javion Griffin closed out the scoring in the first half with a 56-yard run.

Carrow and his team will have little time to lick their wounds, as they play again on Tuesday, when the Seahawks will host Jones Senior (0-5, 0-1 1A CPC) for Senior Night. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.