by Gary Andrews
The Southwood football team did something Friday night they haven’t done since 2008, win on opening night. Running in to the Southern Wells buzz saw the last few years the Knights had revenge on their mind. Trailing 16-14 at the half the Knights came out inspired in the second half, putting up 15 points in the third quarter and flexing their muscle on defense for a 29-22 win.
Nathan Hollars would get the crowd in the game right off the bat with a 51-yard kickoff return to the Raider 29. With some opening night jitters the Knight offense stalled. On Southern Wells second possession and driving the ball, Austin Schlemmer would recover a fumble for the Knights, giving them good field position and some momentum. The Knights would start at the 45-yard line, scoring seven plays later on a Hollars 25 yard scamper to lead 7-0 with 6:07 to go. The Raiders would counter punch, scoring with 2:48 remaining in the first quarter and led 8-7 after one.
With both defenses dominating, Southern Wells would strike first in the second quarter, picking off a Robbie Cole pass for a 74 yard score, going for two again and led 16-7 with 3:23 to go. The Knights would keep the ball the remainder of the half, mounting a drive from the 41, with Hollars scoring a second time with 4.5 seconds left. Zach Hobson split the uprights again and the Knights trailed 16-14 at the half.
Southern Wells would score on their first possession of the second half, with the two-point conversion failing to lead 22-14 with 10:25 remaining. The Knight offense would find their groove on their second possession. Starting on their own 33. After a 50-yard scamper from Hollars on the third play, he would take it in from six yards out two plays later with 3:18 to go. The Knights went for two with Cole connecting with Alex Harmon to knot the score at 22. The Knight defense would force the Raiders to punt on took over with 1:16 left on the Southern Wells 40. One play later, Cole hit Danny Goff in stride for a 40 yard scoring strike and just like that the Knights led 29-22 after Hobson’s boot.
On their second possession of the fourth quarter Southern Wells was mounting a drive, getting the ball on the Southwood 40 after a punt and a Knight penalty. The Raiders were on the Southwood 12 yard line when Corey Phillipy recovered a fumble to stall the drive with 3:09 to play. The Knight offense would take their time, eventually forcing Southern Wells to take their last time out with 1:14 on the clock. The Knights ran out of downs with 23.3 left, giving the ball to Southern Wells on their own 30. On the Raiders first play, Corey Phillipy would recover his second fumble in three minutes, with the Knights running the clock out for the win.