The North Iredell Raiders looked for their first win of the season in the last home game of the year, but the South Iredell Vikings came out firing on all cylinders. The Vikings won 54-6.
South Iredell’s first drive was a statement, with Cullen Smith finding Darius Smyre for a 23-yard completion to put them up 7-0 early in the first. North Iredell managed to get a total of eight yards on their first drive, resulting in a punt.
In less than 20 seconds, South scored on their next two possessions. Smith took the QB draw for 70 yards to the end zone and then Alterek Adams punched it in for an 11-yard touchdown, set up by a North Iredell fumble on the kickoff. With 7:14 to go in the first quarter, the Vikings took a commanding 21-0 lead and bolstered that lead.
Turnovers in the first half by the Raiders gave the Vikings every opportunity to command the game, with South scoring touchdowns on all three drives following a turnover. The Raiders offense seemed to be gaining steam toward the end of the half, driving to the Viking’s 23-yard line. North could not find the end zone before time ran out and went into the locker room down 41-0.
The Raiders got another opportunity to score, but it did not come until the winding moments of the fourth. Hunter Nicholson punched it in for a three-yard touchdown to put the Raiders’ only points on the board, resulting in a 54-6 loss to South.
It was the last home game of the season for the Raiders and the last home game the seniors will play in their high school career.
Coach David Lewis saw the emotions during the first half and tried to get his team to control those. “We knew that there were some things that we do well,” said Lewis. “We didn’t start off (controlling) the emotions of senior night. Everything was moving too quickly and too jacked up for us to quite execute what we needed to do to move the chains. I’m very proud of their effort and very proud of how they came out for the second half and fought.”
A sideline leader that stood out was offensive lineman Nathan Akers, Lewis said. “He has been playing on a bad ankle most of the year,” Lewis said. “He’s been fighting through it all season and it’s because of how important this team and this season means to him.”
North Iredell (0-10) will look to avoid a winless season when it travels to East Rowan for the final game of the season, and Lewis expects his team to prepare all week and “leave it all on that field.”
South Iredell put up an impressive game, and Coach Scott Miller said it was an overall team win. “Everyone contributed,” Miller said. “We have 71 players on our roster and everyone got to play that wasn’t injured. That was our expectations coming into tonight. Everyone got ample playing time.”
Next week, South’s last game of the regular season will be at home, and with 30 seniors on the roster, Miller is looking to end on a good note. “We want them all to play, but our kids understand they are not selfish. We want to win the game, we have to win the game to have a slim shot at the playoffs. Even if we don’t make it, we can at least say we won our last three,” he said.
South (4-6) will look to close the season on a winning streak when they play Jesse Carson at home.