One stat missing in Devils’ setback

One stat missing in Devils’ setback
One stat missing in Devils’ setback | One stat missing in Devils’ setback
South Fulton won basically every statistical battle against Halls … except the one that mattered the most.
The Red Devils out-rushed, out-passed and outgained the host Tigers on Friday, but suffered a crushing 16-14 loss to Halls.
The setback dropped SF to 2-3 overall and, more importantly, 0-2 in District 14A play with heavy-weights Union City, Trenton and Lake County still on the schedule in the second half of the season.
Halls improved to 3-2 and 1-1, respectively.
South Fulton rolled up 351 total yards to just 183 for the Tigers in Friday’s game and had 242 to 130 for Halls in the rushing department.
Red Devil J.P. Fowler, in fact, had more yards on the ground himself (165) than the entire Halls team (130). And JaQuay Garmon’s 109 passing yards for SF was more than double that of three Halls throwers (53 yards).
South Fulton even had 10 more first downs (18-8) than did the host team.
But the Tigers returned a blocked punt for a touchdown and got a 33-yard field goal by Victor Melo with just one tick remaining before intermission to take a 16-6 halftime lead and then held off repeated threats by the Devils in the second half.
Willie Kneuppel’s one-yard touchdown plunge in the second quarter capped a 10-play drive, briefly knotted the count at 6-all for the Big Red before Halls scored 10 unanswered points.
A 62-yard run TD dash by Tony Cooper midway through the second stanza gave the Tigers the lead for good before Melo’s aforementioned boot.
Garmon’s one-yard scoring keeper just 37 seconds into the fourth quarter and a subsequent two-point conversion pass from the South Fulton signal-caller to Ryan Moore got the Devils to within the final margin.
SF got the ball twice more, its best chance at scoring ending at the Tiger 25 after a 16-play drive that started at its own 12.
The Big Red’s final gasp came when Garmon was intercepted at the Halls five with just seven seconds left.
“The old saying is ‘it’s better to be lucky than good,’ and we were pretty good in a lot of areas, but we weren’t very lucky,” an obviously-disappointed SF head coach Kelly Spivey said of his team’s play. “They had three plays, a punt block when we maybe could’ve had a different protection called, a long run by a kid who had 62 of his 67 yards on one play, and then a bad snap and turnover that set up a field goal by their foreign exchange student kicker.
“We played a lot better than we have been playing, especially on defense. It was probably our best game overall of the year. We blocked better and tackled a lot better. It obviously just didn’t translate into a good end result.”
Kneuppel had a team-high eight tackles from his linebacker post, while both Fowler and Ryan Prince were in on five stops. Moore recorded a sack, while J.T. McIntyre had a fumble recovery.
South Fulton plays host to Gleason this week.
Published in The Messenger 9.17.12

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