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October 19, 2013GASTONIA - The stands were packed, the lines for concessions were long, and parking spaces were non-existent. It was a high school football game atmosphere at its finest as Forestview (6-2) hosted South Point (9-0) in Big South 2A/3A action. Both teams were ranked in the NCPreps.com Bakers' Dozen and both were known for their highly prolific, yet contrasting, offenses. By the time the night was over, the visiting Red Raiders left the field with a 49-34 win and the inside track towards a conference championship.
Forestview won the toss and elected to defer, kicking the ball off to South Point to start the game. Both teams traded three-and-outs to start the game, but the Red Raider offense, led by quarterback Jaquan Brooks and Shrine Bowl-bound fullback Tyler Bray would not be denied starting with their second possession. Bray's one yard scoring run was the first of four on the ground for the night.
On South Point's next drive, Brooks found a seam and rushed around the end for eighty-five yards before a Forestview player tackled him at the one yard line. Two plays later, Bray found the end zone again, and South Point was in command of the game.
Forestview responded, helped by a big kickoff return that got the Jaguars out near midfield. A few plays later, senior quarterback Logan Bradley found Moe Neal for a fifteen yard touchdown. A South Point blitz left Neal with one-on-one coverage on the outside, and the sophomore receiver was able to pull down the pass. Bradley finished the night with 388 passing yards, something not lost on South Point coach Mickey Lineberger. "We tried a lot of different coverages you can't let them sit out there and figure out what coverage you're in. He (Bradley) is good enough to pick you apart. They're good at what they do and it was hard to get pressure on him," Lineberger said after the game.
Plagued by poor tackling the entire night, Forestview gave up an eighty yard drive to South Point, capped off by Brooks' eight yard scoring run to put the lead back at fourteen. Brooks finished with 208 rushing yards, leading the Red Raiders in rushing for the second week in a row. "Jaquan directed our triple option offense to perfection tonight a great job," Coach Lineberger said.
Forestview was unable to respond, though, as South Point's Deion Jones picked off the Forestview quarterback, giving the ball back to the Red Raiders. Some big runs by Diontrea King got the Red Raiders in the red zone, and Bray ended the drive with a three yard score, his third of the night.
Forestview did not give up and the Jaguars were able to get back down the field with a mix of runs and passes. On a fourth down, with the clock running out, Bradley passed to CJ Bumgarner to make it a two score game again at the half, 28-14.
Forestview came out in the second half with a couple of good plays, but an overthrown pass went right into the hands of JT Star to give the Red Raiders the ball at their own 42. King's two yard run put the Red Raiders up 35-14, but the big story on the drive was the ten yard run in which Bray broke the Gaston County all-time rushing record. "It's bittersweet," Bray said when asked how he felt about breaking the record. "Knowing I have the record, it's great, but now I know everyone's going to be gunning for me. I have a great team, though, and my lineman would do anything for me."
Forestview got back on the board, this time with a touchdown run by Montavis Rogers, but South Point's Bray broke the hearts of Forestview fans with a ninety-eight yard touchdown return on the ensuing kickoff. Forestview got another score in the third quarter when Bradley hooked up with Bumgarner for the second time of the night, this time a twenty yard pass. Bumgarner ended the night with 141 yards on eight receptions.
South Point drove the length of the field on their next drive, ending when Bray, who finished the night with 150 yards rushing, found the end zone, this time from the one yard line. Forestview finished up the scoring for the night with a twenty-seven yard touchdown pass from Bradley to Mykelti Armstrong, who led the Jaguars with 149 receiving yards on fourteen receptions.
South Point coach Mickey Lineberger was happy with his team's performance in the game. "The biggest thing I'm proud of is we cut our turnovers down to zero we executed well tonight. I've got to thank my coaches it's all about getting better every day and getting the most out of these kids and these guys know how to do it."
Both teams play in Big South 2A/3A Conference action as South Point will host Lake Norman Charter next week while Forestview will travel to take on intra-city rival Ashbrook.
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