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Talented Stallions too much for Bruins

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By Robert Howey

The South Point Stallions are thoroughbreds – a breed apart.The No. 2 Stallions, 7-0, 1-0, staked a solid claim to their lofty status, which includes a national ranking, with a 43-7 win over Lancaster in the Region IV-AAAA opener at Memorial Stadium.The Stallions bolted to a 15-0 first-quarter lead and added two second-period scores on the way to the 36-point win.“Our players gave all they had, but South Pointe had too many weapons,” Lancaster coach Bennie McMurray said. “They’re tough on both sides of the football and they showed so tonight.”The Stallions were sparked by talented senior quarterback Stephon Gilmore, who ran for two scores and threw for another. He rushed for 88 yards and threw for 99. Gilmore is scheduled to announce where he will attend college and play football next week.“Gilmore’s the glue to their attack,” McMurray said. “He makes them go.”Gilmore guided the Stallions in for their first score, Devin Wherry’s two-yard run, for a 7-0 lead after Graham Tuttle tacked on the first of five extra points.The SP defense then delivered, leading to a pair of scores.Stallions’ defensive back Lee Yard scooped up a lateral off the hands of LHS running back Zed Truesdale and dashed 22 yards for a quick score.The Bruins’ coaches argued the toss was a forward pass, but the officials upheld the score. Wherry took a direct snap on the conversion and bulled into the end zone for a 15-0 lead with 4:08 left in the opening period.“We knew we couldn’t give up anything cheap,” McMurray said. “We felt it was a pass, but it went for a score and put us in a hole we couldn’t overcome. You’re not going to win a track meet-like scoring match with the Stallions.”The Stallions padded their lead in the second period when Harold White recovered a fumble. A snap later, Gilmore hit Charles Holmes, a USC commitment, on a 37-yard strike for a 22-0 lead.“Jumping to the early lead was big because Lancaster is a solid running team and that kind of forced them to have to throw more and get away from their strong ground game,” SP coach Bobby Carroll said. “We just made the plays.”Gilmore generated a big play midway the second period, dashing 40 yards on a keeper to give SP a 29-0 lead at the half.The Stallions struck twice in the third period to seal the win.SP drove 72 yards to open the second half, with Gilmore tallying on a six-yard keeper.Late in the third period off a Mike Gaither interception, the Stallions made it 43-0 as Quinten Darby scored on a one-yard run.Lancaster, showing some life, answered on the ensuing kickoff as Brandon McGriff returned the kick 85 yards for a touchdown. Anna Funderburk added the kick.“Our players were still fighting,” McMurray said. “We never backed away, but in this case the better team won. South Pointe ought to go far.”McMurray said the Bruins will move on.“We can’t change this, but we can continue to work and learn from our mistakes,” he said. “This was a learning experience for our team, coaches and players. We will regroup. The best part is we have no injuries and we can come back and prove ourselves.“There’s plenty of football to be played and we haven’t lost sight of our goals,” McMurray said.Carroll said the Bruins will be back.“Coach McMurray has done a tremendous job here and Lancaster has improved so much in the last couple of years,” Carroll said. “We prepare hard for all the teams we play. We knew we had to come here and play well.”LHS, 5-2, 0-1, visits 4-2 Blythewood, a 17-3 region winner over Spring Valley on Friday night.