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South Fulton stock takes dive after blanking against Falcons

South Fulton stock takes dive after blanking against Falcons
South Fulton stock takes dive after blanking against Falcons

South Fulton’s Holden McConnell runs a sweep during the Red Devils’ loss Friday evening.
Oh, how quickly a perspective can change.
Two weeks ago, the South Fulton Red Devil football program was flying high after opening the season with six consecutive wins.
A loss to Union City last week and then a hugely disappointing 40-0 whipping at the hands of Lake County Friday night now has the Red Devils simply fighting for a spot in the Class A playoffs.
LC (4-4, 3-2 in Region 7-1A) won its third in a row and pitched its third straight shutout after allowing 211 points through its first five games of the season. 
South Fulton (6-2, 3-2) came into the game averaging 29 points per game but was unable to move the ball past the Falcon 44-yard line.
The Falcons allowed the Red Devils just 103 yards of total offense, while the SF defense surrendered 484 yards and 21 first-quarter points to dig an early hole the Big Red would not escape.
“I can handle losing like we did last week against Union City because we fought, we scrapped, we blocked, we hit,” South Fulton head coach Kelly Spivey said. “But tonight, we did nothing, absolutely nothing.
“I thought we had a great plan. We came out the first series and hit ’em and hit ’em and then we just started grabbing and not tackling. I thought they whipped us on the offensive and defensive lines. The rest is history.”
The South Fulton defense was geared to take away the creative Lake County passing attack.
In response, the Falcons turned to their ground game, which ate up 291 yards on 40 carries. Freshman Ricky Boyd led LC with 122 yards on 13 carries, Trevor Blythe added 104 yards on 16 carries and Carlos Young had 66 yards on just four attempts.
Spivey thought his defense was ready for what Lake County would “throw” at them.
“To be honest with you, that was our thought,” said Spivey. “Lately we’ve been a pretty salty run defense. I thought we could bring a different front and bring different guys out of the secondary in run support. We ended up with a 3-5, which is still eight guys in the box. We couldn’t do squat. We didn’t wrap up.
“Looking back, it really didn’t matter what defense we were in. We just weren’t playing ball tonight.”
The Falcons started the scoring on the game’s opening possession. They marched 73-yards in four plays with Young breaking six tackles and scoring on a 40-yard run just two minutes into the contest.
After stopping the Red Devils cold on their first possession, LC took advantage of a 43-yard punt return by Dominic Kimble to the SF 25-yard line.
Boyd carried the ball to the Devil one and Blythe then finished the short drive with a plunge to paydirt at the 7:20 mark of the opening period. Add a Sam Hayes quarterback keeper for the 2-point conversion, and the Falcons were up 14-0.
Lake County ended the first quarter with what would be its longest scoring drive of the first half — an eight-play, 81-yard march to make it 21-0 heading into the second frame.
Lake County added another score midway through the second quarter as Hayes connected with Kimble on a 7-yard TD pass with 6:51 left in the half to take a comfortable 28-0 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Red Devil coaching staff tried to inspire their team at the break, but the Lake County defense continued what it had started in the first half. The Falcons stopped the Devils on the opening possession of the second half and proceeded to march down the field to put the game out of reach.
LC put together a 10-play, 66-yard march with Kimble scoring on a four-yard run through the South Fulton defense with 7:13 left in the third.
The Falcons added the game’s final score with 1:25 left in the third quarter as Hayes lateraled to Young, who promptly hit a wide open Kimble for a 35-yard touchdown.
The rest of the game was played with a continuous clock as the Falcons led 40-0.
“I didn’t have them ready to play. We looked poorly coached and not really motivated,” Spivey continued. “I’ll put it on me. Our coaching staff will not let that happen again. We’ll work twice as hard and we need the kids to do the same.”
Spivey, however, was at a loss to explain the lack of a top-notch effort from his club.
“That’s the disappointing thing,” he said. “Looking at the kids after the game, they looked like it’s over. Well it isn’t over. We have to give Gleason our best effort. We were supposed to give Lake County our best effort. We can still get in the playoffs.”
SF will now try to regroup as they prepare to host Gleason Friday night. Spivey did see a few that played hard and hopes that will inspire others to battle hard for the final two games of the regular season as they fight for a playoff spot.
“I thought Johnathan Avent played well,” the coach added. “I thought he was one of the few that fought along with Corbin Hawks. We had a lot that didn’t fight tonight and that bothers me. We’re going find a group of kids that are willing to scrap the whole game and we’ll put them in and plug them in and go with them.
“I can live with losing, but I can’t live with losing like that. We’re going to find the kids that are willing to play hard and go with them. The rest of them can join the ride or sit on the sideline. They were willing to ride with us when we won six to begin the season. Now they can either join us or be against us. We’re going to do all we can do.”

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