South Caldwell smothers Watauga
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
South Caldwell’s never been known as a passing team. The Spartans did not need to pass much against Watauga Friday night.
South Caldwell rolled up over 600 yards rushing in its 55-15 victory over the Pioneers during Watauga’s homecoming weekend. South Caldwell (9-0, 5-0 NWC) kept the inside track to its second straight Northwestern Conference championship with a relentless ground game that Watauga (4-5, 1-3) rarely stopped.
“They had, like, two pulling guards on every play,” Watauga defensive back DeWayne Mackey said. “The linebackers didn’t scrape over fast enough and they were off to the races.”
South Caldwell running back Zac Pollard benefitted the most from the Spartans’ ground game by gaining 152 yards and scoring three touchdowns on just 10 carries. Pollard cracked the 2,000-yard barrier with a 42-yard touchdown run in the second quarter that gave the Spartans a 28-0 lead.
Pollard raised his season total to 2,061 yards rushing and 26 overall touchdowns, 25 by rushing. Pollard also scored touchdown runs of 18 and 28 yards in the first quarter.
“He’s the real deal,” Wright said. “He’s everything that I had heard that he was and from what I saw on film. He’s probably a little quicker in person than what he looked like he was on film.”
Watauga’s offense didn’t start to drive the football until the second half. Nick Williams scored on touchdown runs of four and 60 yards. His first touchdown capped a nine-play, 60-yard drive highlighted by a 45-yard pass from backup quarterback Aaron Dobbins to Cameron Baker.
The play converted a second-and-19. Watauga also converted their only two third downs of the game during the drive.
“We got our heavy formation and I just happened to call the play on the side that he would be carrying the ball. I wasn’t thinking whether it would be one side or the other. I just happen to pick the side where he got the ball and got good blocking and got in.”
Williams was hardly touched on his 60-yard run, which he broke up the middle and then went to the outside.
“We called an inside zone play and had good blocking up front,” Williams said of the long TD run. “I got good blocking up front and I was just able to out-leg them.”
Dobbins took over for starting quarterback Jay Harrill, who was making his second straight start. Harrill filled in for Tripp Taylor, who is likely out for the season after breaking his jaw in the previous game at Alexander Central.
Harrill, who completed 5-of-9 passes for 38 yards and an interception, had to leave the game Friday after reinjuring his ribs after being hit while throwing a pass. He played one more series, but did not return.
Dobbins, a freshman who has been the quarterback on the junior varsity team, completed 2-of-8 passes for 50 yards. Both Baker and Sub Steury caught three passes. Watauga’s offense gained 88 yards passing and 84 on the ground, giving them 172 yards on 41 plays.
It was no match for South Caldwell’s dominating offense. The Spartans finished with 663 yards in total offense on 70 plays, and also collected 32 first downs.
South Caldwell also converted 7-of-8 third downs and held the ball for 32:17 of the game.
“They’ve got some big boys over there,” Mackey said. “They’ve been committed because they weren’t that good a couple of years ago. Now their coach has got them in the weight room and it’s where it starts.”
Watauga actually made the first big play of the game by recovering a South Caldwell fumble on the Spartans’ first drive. But Watauga fumbled the ball right back, and Pollard converted with an 18-yard touchdown.
The Pioneers fumbled the ensuing kickoff at their own 28-yard line. Pollard scored a 28-yard touchdown run on the next play, which put South Caldwell up 14-0.
“They’re a really physical team and they’ve got a very experienced offensive line and some great running backs behind it,” Wright said. “Pollard is obviously their leader, but we didn’t help ourselves with two early turnovers. Those two early fumbles kind of set the tone for the game. It just snowballed and got worse from there.”
Watauga plays at an improving Hibriten team Friday night.
South Caldwell 55, Watauga 15
South Caldwell 21 14 7 13 — 55
Watauga 0 0 7 8 — 15
Score by quarters
SC—Pollard 18 run (Matthews kick)
SC—Pollard 28 run (Matthews kick)
SC—Parham 7 pass from Soles (Matthews kick)
SC—Pollard 42 run (Matthews kick)
SC—Welker 3 run (Matthews kick)
WHS—Williams 4 run (Parsons kick)
SC—Welker 3 run Matthews kick(
SC—Maris 10 run (Kick failed)
Williams 60 run (Mackey kick)
SC—Lamber 3 run (Matthews kick)
South Caldwell Watauga
First downs 32 8
By rushing 29 5
By passing 2 2
By penalty 1 1
Rushes-yards 64-607 24-84
Avg. rush 9.5 3.5
Yards gained 614 130
Yards lost 7 46
Passing yards 56 88
Passes 3-6-0 7-17-1
Avg. per att. 9.3 5.2
Avg. per comp 18.7 12.6
Sacks by-yards 3-24 1-7
Total plays-yards 70-663 41-172
Punts-avg. 0-0 4-40.0
Inside 20 0 2
Touchbacks 0 0
Fair catch 0 1
Penalties-yards 9-63 4-43
Fumbles-lost 2-2 4-2
Third-down conv. 7-of-8 2-of-9
Fourth down conv. 0-for-0 0-for-1
Time of poss: 32:17 15:43
South Caldwell individuals
Rushing: Pollard 10-152, Barber 14-138, Maris 8-79, Powell 8-54, Soles 4-51, Sides 4-42, Watson 5-31, Reed 1-25, Welker 6-23, Lamber 3-17, Parham 1-2.
Passing: Soles 3-6-0 56.
Receiving: Parham 2-33, Curtis 1-23.
Rushing: Wiliams 3-61, Poulos 10-53, Weybrecht 3-6, Team 1-(-6), Dobbins 4-(-6), Harrill 3-(-24).
Receiving: Baker 3-55, Steury 3-28, Mackey 1-5.