SF will leaves Eagles at a loss

SF will leaves Eagles at a loss
SF will leaves Eagles at a loss

South Fulton’s Cody Tatum takes a handful of West Carroll defenders with him during Friday’s win.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
South Fulton imposed its will on West Carroll, finding a couple ways to score during its 25-8 victory on Friday evening.
Red Devil fullback Cody Tatum, part of a heavy backfield along with fellow power runner Willy Kneuppel, bulled his way to two of his team’s four touchdowns.
Additionally, sophomore quarterback JaQuay Garmon threw for a pair of scores and a total of 103 yards on 5-of-7 passing in the season-opening triumph.
“For an opening game, I think it was fantastic,” SF head coach Kelly Spivey said. “Sure, we made mistakes, but every team does in the first game. We didn’t fumble. We had no bad snaps. For Game 1, that’s pretty good and it tells me I’m getting a response for all the harping I did in the offseason because our turnover ratio wasn’t too impressive last season.
“Tonight, we protected the ball and that’s what wins football games.”
South Fulton scored the contest’s first 25 points with WC’s only touchdown coming with just eight seconds remaining in the game against the Red Devil backups.
“This win means a lot,” Spivey said. “With the new playoff system, every victory counts and we already have a magic number that we think will get us in good shape in regards to the postseason.
“Plus, it gives this young group a shot of confidence and they avoid being behind the 8-ball to start the season. I told the team after the game that ‘About half the teams in the state already have a loss after tonight, but we’re not one of them.’”
The Redmen, who employ a Wing T offense that is usually both speedy and physical, opted to turn to its power game on Friday evening.
The gamble paid off as Tatum rushed for 66 yards and two TDs on a dozen carries, while Kneuppel moved the pigskin 37 yards on 10 hand-offs. Speedster J.P. Fowler also helped SF to its all-important first victory with 11 carries for 76 yards.
South Fulton started on the path to the triumph with its opening drive in the first quarter.
Garmon capped the eight-play, 78-yard series — finding Chance Barnes for a 44-yard touchdown connection. Fowler’s extra-point attempt was no good and the Redmen held a 6-0 lead with 3:51 remaining in the first.
South Fulton’s second score also was of the aerial variety as Garmon, scrambling with War Eagle defenders hot on his tail, tossed up a prayer that Chance Hamlin got under for a 25-yard touchdown with 7:45 remaining in the second period.
The two-point conversion attempt failed and SF took a 12-0 advantage into the locker room at intermission.
After the break, the Red Devils wasted little time in finding paydirt again.
Khiry Lewis started the second half with a bang, taking the opening kickoff 37 yards to give SF stellar field position at the West Carroll 43.
Eight snaps later, Tatum bulled his way from two yards out with 7:20 to go in the third.
Fowler made the highlight reel of the aforementioned drive with an 18-yard run. Meanwhile, Garmon found Barnes for a 14-yard gain that got South Fulton to the West Carroll 10 before Tatum’s TD.
Yet, even with the two long touchdown passes in mind, the Red Devils’ final scoring drive might have been the most impressive of the evening.
South Fulton slowly crept 69 yards on 16 plays, chewing up the first eight minutes of the final quarter before Tatum blasted his way to the endzone on a six-yard run.
Tatum and Kneuppel carried much of the load during said series with the former accounting for 31 yards on four hand-offs and the latter running for 11 yards on three carries. Kyle Watkins also had a key eight-yard gain during the drive.
“We knew at halftime that we were better conditioned than they were,” Spivey said. “I also thought that if we could get their legs weary with a long drive that there was a pretty good chance we could impose our will.
“I think that’s what we did to start the fourth quarter.”
Defensively, South Fulton had plenty of standouts as James totaled seven tackles with a fumble recovery. Meanwhile, Nick Wright had six stops — three for a loss. Lewis also totaled six tackles, while Marcus Wade sacked WC quarterback Jamal Gleen.
As a unit, the SF defense also deserves a tip of the cap as it turned West Carroll away twice in the redzone.
The Red Devils host District 14A foe Greenfield on Friday evening.
Sports reporter Kenneth Coker can be contacted by e-mail at kcoker@ucmessenger.com.

Leave a Comment