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Late touchdown lifts SC over Rose

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South Central’s Kendrick Britton (#31) tackles a J.H. Rose player during a game, Friday evening.

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By Jake Keator
The Daily Reflector

Friday, September 21, 2018

A 35-yard touchdown pass from South Central quarterback Justin Humphries to Jeremy Lewis gave the Falcons a late lead in the fourth quarter to give them the win over Rose, 20-18, in high school football action on Friday in Winterville.

Humphries had another good outing for SC (5-0, 1-0), finishing 8-for-20 for 114 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Running back Jemere Artis also had another strong performance with 11 carries for 85 yards and a touchdown. Jeremy Lewis led the way in the Falcons’ air attack with three receptions for 67 yards and two touchdowns. 

For Rose, quarterback Grant Jarman finished 13-for-26 with 130 yards. Shaquan Perry added 14 carries for 71 yards and one touchdown, while Grant Humphries pitched in 14 carries for 56 yards and a touchdown. Ben Harris was the leading receiver for the Rampants, totaling three receptions for 35 yards.

Starting at their own 20-yard line after a Rose punt, the Falcons went to work with 5:30 to go in the fourth. A rush from Artis netted them five yards, followed by an incomplete pass attempt from Humphries.

Looking at third-and-five, Humphries ran the read-option to perfection, tucking the ball and sprinting past Rose defenders for a 25-yard gain, landing him at the 50. He then performed magic once again, running the same play and netting another 15 yards. On the next play, he dropped back and spotted Lewis alone with a Rose defender, and Lewis snatched the ball away and walked into the end zone to give the Falcons a 20-18 lead. 

“Jeremy is great player and a leader on our team,” South Central head coach Andy Tew said. “He wants to make plays, he wants everyone around him to play at a high level. When we have a chance to get him the ball, we try to get it to him and let him do what he did tonight.”

Rampants head coach Dave Wojtecki gave credit to the future ECU player. 

“It came down to the kid made a play. He’s going to play Division-I football, he better make a play,” Wojtecki said. 

Overall, Wojtecki said he was proud of his squad and the way they played.

“Offensively, we didn’t do a very good job,” he said. “I’m proud of our guys. We fought real hard, but it’s tough. It’s tough to lose a game and a tight one. You never know a couple calls here or there and maybe we could have done things differently.”

The Rampants lost a valuable opportunity just prior to the Lewis touchdown catch that could have given them a two-score lead.

Looking at a critical fourth-and-five in enemy territory, Jarman dropped back and delivered a low pass to Wesley Shade, who slid out of bounds two yards ahead of the first down marker. Flags were thrown and a facemask call on the offense negated the pass and lost the team five yards, forcing them to punt. 

On their first drive, the Rampants used an effective mix of Grant Humphreys runs and Jarman passing to move into the red zone. A holding call pushed them back to the 22, though they moved all the way to the 8-yard line. A Jarman sack on third down forced them to settle for a Shade field goal, giving them an early 3-0 lead. 

Artis took the kickoff deep in Falcon territory, utilizing solid blocking to take the ball into the Rose red zone, a perfect spot for the Falcons to begin their first offensive series. It took only four plays, capped off by an Artis two-yard touchdown to give the Falcons a 6-3 lead after a failed two-point conversion.

The scoring wasn’t over for the first quarter. Perry took in the ball, running to his right. He managed to slip away from a would-be tackler, regain his balance and enter the end zone for a 15-yard score, regaining the lead for Rose, 10-7.

Artis took over in the second quarter, turning space into a 44-yard gain. He finished the drive with a six-yard TD rush to once again put SC on top, 14-10.

Deep in the third quarter, Rose once again put together a consistent long drive to wear down the Falcons defense. Humphreys stole the lead back from SC, putting Rose up 18-14.

Up next for South Central is a trip to Dudley to take on Southern Wayne. 

Rose hosts C.B. Aycock next week as the Rampants look to secure their first conference victory. 

Contact Jake Keator at jkeator@reflector.com, 252-329-9594 and follow @JakeKeatorDR on Twitter.

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