Belmont - The atmosphere in Belmont was electric as South Point hosted Crest in a second round matchup in the 3AA.
South Point held off a resilient Crest team to take a 46-33 victory advancing to the third round in the state playoffs. The Red Raiders were led by junior fullback Tyler Bray, who broke the Gaston County single game rushing record with 381 yards rushing on 31 carries and scoring five touchdowns.
South Point took a 32-20 lead into halftime, but Crest would come out in the second half ready to play. Their defense stepped up and stopped the Red Raiders' deadly running game by forcing a turnover.
Crest then cut the lead to 32-27 on a 20 yard touchdown run by Jalin Moore in which abruptly shifted the momentum to the Charger sideline heading into the final quarter.
South Point made a statement when they marched the field on a 15 play drive that covered 90 yards taking 7:24 off the clock. Bray covered the last three yards on a touchdown run that pushed the Red Raider lead to 40-27 with only 3:34 remaining.
"That's Red Raider football. That is what we have done around here since 1969. It is what we hang our hat on…four yards and keep the chains moving," said South Point Coach Mickey Lineberger.
The first half saw both teams going back and forth on the scoreboard. The Red Raider offensive was very explosive as they scored four touchdowns longer than 39 yards. Bray, who had 261 yards on 13 carries in the first half, led the way with three scoring runs of 80, 70 and nine yards. The senior has been unstoppable running the ball all year and tonight was not any different.
The Chargers were led by Moore, who finished the night with 139 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
South Point (12-0) advances to the third round of the playoffs and will host Statesville Friday. These teams are some-what familiar with each other as they played a scrimmage against each other in the pre-season.