MOUNTAINEERS 27 CAVALIERS 12
October 25, 2008By Jimmy Davis of Kings Mountain High School
copied from varsitync.COM
KINGS MOUNTAIN - Greg Lloyd saw all the signs of a lackluster performance this week in practice. In some ways, it was to be expected for Kings Mountain after the Mountaineers blasted rival Shelby for the first time in 10 years last week.
But Kings Mountain did find a way to survive East Rutherford Friday night with a 27-12 victory at Gamble Stadium that moves the Mountaineers with one victory of their first conference title in 10 years.
"We didn't have the greatest week of practice," Lloyd said. "And we didn't come out with the energy we needed to have. It was just a hard couple of days of practice. The kids had to stop thinking about Shelby."
Then, after the Mountaineers built a 20-6 lead, one of the most bizarre plays of the season had Lloyd thinking the worst.
"We'd already given one game away," Lloyd said of an earlier 21-20 home loss to Forestview in which Kings Mountain led 20-0.
East Rutherford made the score close on Adrian Wilkins' second score of the game - a 75-yard touchdown return on a "double fumble" play.
With the Cavaliers' facing second-and-13 from their own 32, Tajdre Wilkerson's fumble was recovered by Kings Mountain linebacker J.T. Putnam. After Putnam returned five yards to the East Rutherford 25, Wilkins stopped him and stripped the football before racing untouched for a touchdown that made it 20-12 with 4:51 left in the third quarter.
Yet, even with junior varsity quarterback Cameron Harris at the helm after starter Michael Roberts had been shaken up, the Mountaineers (6-3, 3-0) survived to set up a huge Southwestern 2A/3A game at R-S Central (6-3, 2-1) next week.
"If we don't have a good week of practice, it'll be tough," Lloyd said of playing R-S Central, which lost to Shelby Friday night. "We beat them by one point here last year when they missed a field goal at the buzzer, so I know they'll be hungry."
To get in that position, Joe Chambers picked up 115 yards and one touchdown and Terrance Young caught touchdown passes from Roberts and Harris. And the Mountaineers' defense limited East Rutherford to three net yards and two first downs in the second half.
Harris' scoring pass to Young clinched the contest. It came with 6:34 to play and Kings Mountain facing fourth-and-17 at the East Rutherford 20. The Mountaineers had originally sent Edward Blackburn on the field to attempt what would've been a season-long 37-yard field goal attempt. But then Lloyd called a timeout.
"We thought we had a better chance just throwing a fade to Terrance," Lloyd said. "Cameron made a good throw and Terrance went up and got it."
The touchdown, which was followed by Houston Lattimore's third extra point, made it 27-12. It also forced East Rutherford into a passing game it clearly wasn't prepared for; Four of the Cavaliers' (3-6, 0-3) last nine plays from scrimmage resulted in quarterback sacks.
Roberts was kept out for the final 19 minutes after "getting his bell rung," according to Lloyd. "We didn't want to take any chances," Lloyd continued.
Led by Chambers' 115 yards rushing and Young's 86 yards on three catches, Kings Mountain finished with 294 yards total offense. East Rutherford had 147.
Anthony Dalton, Tori Belcher, Zach Hopper and Jirus Toney all had five solo or first-hit tackles to lead the Mountaineers' defense. Tyrice Addison had four stops, including three for losses of 27 yards.