Southern playmakers keep Spartans atop Big Eight
Southern brought its high-octane offense to Cardinal Gibbons Friday and the Spartans left no doubt that their addition to the Big Eight 3-A Conference will shake up the rank-and-file.
The Spartans, reclassified to 3-A out of the PAC-6 4-A this season, gained 401 total offensive yards en route to a 45-28 victory.
The win snapped a first-place conference tie with Gibbons and Orange. All three teams entered Friday night with 2-0 league marks. Southern now shares the lead with Orange at 3-0.
“It feels good to come into a new conference and beat the guys who were the best,” Southern coach Adrian Jones said. “I’m proud of our guys. We held on and got the ‘W.’”
Southern’s array of playmakers out in force.
Leading 3-0 on a 29-yard Leonardo Orozco field goal to open the game, Southern pulled a trick out of its sleeve on the first play of its next drive.
Quarterback Kendall Hinton threw a screen pass to the flat to Derrick Mason who appeared destined to lose yards as the Cardinal Gibbons corners closed in. But Mason squared up to throw the ball and found Maurice Trowell 20 yards downfield, Trowell sprinted a additional 66 on his own for an 86-yard score.
Cardinal Gibbons responded on its next drive, the Crusaders marching 74 yards down field to score on a Peyton Offnick 20-yard run, but again Southern answered right back.
William Cameron returned the kickoff 90 yards for a 17-7 Southern lead.
As one Southern assistant coach said from the sideline, “he looked like a gazelle” as Cameron hit an inside seam and sprinted away.
“We want them to be guessing all night long,” said Jones of the offensive playmakers at his disposal. “It’s fun to coach when you have guys who can make these plays.”
Hinton found Trowell and Mason for another pair of scores in the half and Kaleb Barfield picked off Cardinal Gibbons’ Shawn Stankavage as the half ended for a 31-14 lead at the break.
“We like for the other team to try to catch up to us,” Jones said. “It’s tough to come back against our team.”
The second-half was not without its drama. After Cardinal Gibbons recovered an onside kick, the Crusaders narrowed the Southern lead to 10 points as Stankavage opened the final quarter with a 10-yard rush.
But Southern did not give up another score and capped off the game with a 6-yard touchdown run by Toney Bass.
SOUTHERN 45, GIBBONS 28
Southern 17 14 7 7 — 45
Cardinal Gibbons 7 7 8 6 — 28
SO — Leonardo Orozco FG 29, 9:34
SO — Maurice Trowell 86 pass from Derrick Mason (Orozco kick), 6:36
CG — Peyton Offnick 20 run (Brandon Loy kick), 4:54
SO — William Cameron 90 kick return (Orozco kick), 4:41
SO — Trowell 6 pass from Kendall Hinton (Orozco kick), 5:49
SO — Mason 10 pass from Hinton (Orozco kick) 0:52
CG — Earl Gill 4 pass from Shawn Stankavage (Loy kick), 0:07
SO — Jordan Brown 7 run (Orozco kick), 5:43
CG — David Smith 5 run (Loy run), 1:42
CG — Stankavage 12 run (run failed), 11:46
SO — Toney Bass 6 run (Orozco kick), 8:47
RUSHING — Southern, William Cameron 13-95, Kendall Hinton 8-77, Toney Bass 6-33, Jordan Brown 9-24, Kameron Johnson 2-4. Cardinal Gibbons — Shawn Stankavage 19-91, David Smith 11-88, Peyton Offnick 4-24.
PASSING — Southern, Hinton 11-14-2 167, Mason 1-1-0 86. Cardinal Gibbons, Stankavage 21-40-2 332.
RECEIVING — Southern, Maurice Trowell 3-102, Jordan Brown 2-45, Jason Henderson 2-41, Cameron 1-19, Bass 1-14. Cardinal Gibbons — Earl Gill 7-137, Dante Dimaggio 6-105, Chris Gorman 4-48, Brandon Loy 1-24, Danny McCrorie 1-14, David Smith 2-12.
Records — Southern 5-2, 3-0 Big Eight 3-A; Cardinal Gibbons 5-2, 2-1 Big Eight.