A look at Week 5 of the high school football season, marked by a big game from South Point's Naseem Jones and Kings Mountain's struggles continuing against rival Shelby.
Through the first few weeks of the season, fullback Naseem Jones seemed to be a forgotten commodity despite posting solid numbers
Jones changed all that on Thursday night.
Without one of their top weapons in wideout Ray Grier - suspended for three games for a violation of team rules - Jones took full advantage of the opportunity to showcase his skills. Rushing for 259 yards and four touchdowns, his effort helped pace South Point to a 33-7 rout of rival Stuart Cramer.
The junior fullback accounted for more than half of the Red Raiders’ 422 yards of total offense, toting the rock on all but 21 of the team’s snaps.
In a Southwestern 2A Conference no longer the two-team race it was a season ago, Jones’ emergence could be the difference for a South Point squad steadily improving as the year goes along.
Shelby simply has Kings Mountain’s number
Football can be a funny sport sometimes.
Exhibit A - at least on this Friday night - was on display at George Blanton Memorial Stadium, as a Shelby team coming off three straight losses continued its dominance over rival Kings Mountain.
Dominant in its first three contests - outscoring opponents by a score of 145-25 - the Mountaineers had trouble gaining traction on offense all night.
Quarterback Kaylon Wade was never allowed to get comfortable as a Shelby pass rush collapsed the pocket. It also allowed the Golden Lions’ secondary to drop numbers back to defend a talented group of Kings Mountain receivers.
In the end, however, this one boiled down to turnovers with Shelby forcing four and committing none. Golden Lion defensive back Dorian Davis forced two on his own - bringing in an interception along with forcing a fumble and taking it in for a touchdown, which proved to be the winning score.
With the loss, Kings Mountain still has not won at Shelby since 1986.
Miscues lead Ashbrook to first setback of season
Whether a short week or a regular one, Brian Andrews wasn’t willing to make an excuse for his Ashbrook squad following Wednesday’s game at Clover.
“I’m not real pleased with how we played … it was real sloppy,” he said. “I feel we are better than that.
“I’m not going to let our players and coaches believe (a Wednesday game played a role) because that is an excuse. (Clover) had the same amount of preparation as we did. We got to do a better job, period.”
An abnormally early contest during the week offered an atypical result for the Green Wave, fumbling eight times - losing three - in a 40-18 loss to Clover. Ashbrook was also intercepted once in the game.
As a result, its vaunted rushing attack could never get going. Averaging better than 300 rushing yards per game coming in, the Green Wave could only muster 133 yards on the ground and eight first downs.
“We made silly mistakes, we are better than that,” Andrews said. “We have more intelligence on the football field than we showed (Wednesday). Those kicking game mistakes, big plays on offense turning the ball over, we are so much better than that.
“I take full responsibility, and we’re going to go back to work. Put it all on me because I’m going to take care of it.”
Ashbrook will get an opportunity to redeem itself Friday, when it opens up Big South 3A play at home against Burns.
Huss the last unbeaten standing in Big South 3A
Going into Week 5 of the high school football season, five Big South 3A teams had yet to experience defeat.
After this week of competition, only one stands without a loss.
Hunter Huss benefited without having to take the gridiron. On a bye, the Huskies sat back and watched undefeated conference foes Ashbrook, Crest, Kings Mountain and Stuart Cramer each suffer their first losses of the season.
Huss will not get any trophies as the lone survivor, though. Big South 3A play kicks off for the Huskies this Friday with a visit from North Gaston.
Florence puts Friday football in flux
As chaotic as this past week’s action was in terms of rescheduling a large share of matchups, getting Week 6 in could be as much of an adventure for area football teams.
With up to 15 inches forecast for portions of the Piedmont, it is unknown when school will resume. And without school in session, extracurricular activities cannot take place.
This bears watching, with patience likely the best virtue as those displaced receive assistance and their safety ensured.
Joe Hughes can be reached at 704-869-1843 or via e-mail at email@example.com. Find him on Twitter @JoeLHughesII.