South Caldwell halted in 44-7 loss at Dudley
The South Caldwell Spartans ended their 2013 season Friday night, traveling to Greensboro to face off against the Panthers of James Benson Dudley High School, who won the first-round playoff game 44-7.
It was a struggle all night for the Spartan offense, facing up against the nearly impenetrable Panther defense, who only allowed South 36 yards rushing in the first half.
The South defense didn’t have much more success on the other side of the ball, allowing all 44 points from Dudley in the first half, who racked up 198 yards rushing in the first half, on 10 attempts.
“We really wanted to play low, get on their thigh pads, and we were willing–game plan wise–to take three and four yards a click and run the clock down,” said South Caldwell Head Coach Butch Carter. “(They have) a great defense, a great football team.”
South came into the first round, the number 15 seed, compared to the number two seed Panthers.
“We’ve got to give them a lot of credit–a very disciplined team,” Carter said. “They should make an incredible run.”
South ends its season 5-7, 3-4 in the Northwestern 3A/4A conference, and after the game, the Spartans huddled on the field for an emotional final time.
“Well, it’s real simple. I’ve coached a lot of football teams,
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and the adversity we’ve been faced with, and you’re talking about a team that went undefeated last year in the regular season,” Carter said. “But adversity hits you in the face and not one time-not one time anybody complained. Their attitude and effort was great all year, and I think they learned a lot from this season, they have nothing to be ashamed of, they played outstanding football and they’ve got a great family. I’m proud to be their football coach.”
South received the opening kickoff Friday night, but weren’t able to get the offense off the ground, with their first two possessions ending in punts after three plays, compared to the explosive offense of Dudley, whose first two possessions ended in touchdowns, taking the lead 12-0 with 6:18 left in the first.
The rest of the first quarter was much of the same, with Dudley scoring on each possession, and by the start of the second quarter, the Panthers were up 20-0.
The start of the second quarter wasn’t any better for the Spartans, as they punted on the first play of the second quarter, and in two plays, the Panthers were back in the end zone, on a 29-yard pass from Dudley quarterback Emmanuel Moseley to star sophomore running back Connell Young.
After getting the ball back, Spartan quarterback Trevar Soles threw an interception on a short pass that led to a Dudley touchdown on the next play, a 16-yard pass from Moseley to junior running back Darius Graves, giving the Panthers a 36-0 lead less than three minutes into the second quarter.
South’s next possession also ended in a turnover, a fumble, leading to another Panther touchdown, this one on a quick 8-yard run by Young.
But South’s offense hit a stride just before halftime, putting together a 17-play drive that came dangerously close to a touchdown, but a holding penalty on second and goal moved the ball back to the 17 yard line from the seven, but the Spartans bounced back with a 12-yard pass from Soles to Gavin Reed, but the last play of the drive, on fourth and goal, Soles’ pass to Nick Mathews was narrowly dropped in the end zone, giving the ball back to the Panthers, who would kneel it and take it to halftime.
The third quarter was a defensive stalemate, with neither team scoring, and the fourth quarter was similar, aside from a hard-fought Spartan touchdown that came from an 11-play drive that ended with a 3-yard touchdown run by Soles to put the score where it would stay, 44-7.