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SOUTHERN NASH FOOTBALL

Firebirds trounce Yellow Jackets for Big East lead

Posted on September 25, 2021

SportsSchool Sports

Southern Nash’s Sammy Gandy (6) runs with the ball during the first half of Friday’s game against Roanoke Rapids. Gandy ran for 184 yards and two touchdowns as the Firebirds improved to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the 2-A/3-A Big East Conference with a 56-14 victory.

Jyronn Brinkley | Special to The Enterprise

Southern Nash’s Sammy Gandy (6) runs with the ball during the first half of Friday’s game against Roanoke Rapids. Gandy ran for 184 yards and two touchdowns as the Firebirds improved to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the 2-A/3-A Big East Conference with a 56-14 victory.

Southern Nash’s Sammy Gandy (6) runs with the ball during the first half of Friday’s game against Roanoke Rapids. Gandy ran for 184 yards and two touchdowns as the Firebirds improved to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the 2-A/3-A Big East Conference with a 56-14 victory.

Jyronn Brinkley | Special to The Enterprise

Southern Nash’s Sammy Gandy (6) runs with the ball during the first half of Friday’s game against Roanoke Rapids. Gandy ran for 184 yards and two touchdowns as the Firebirds improved to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the 2-A/3-A Big East Conference with a 56-14 victory.

Southern Nash’s Sammy Gandy (6) runs with the ball during the first half of Friday’s game against Roanoke Rapids. Gandy ran for 184 yards and two touchdowns as the Firebirds improved to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the 2-A/3-A Big East Conference with a 56-14 victory.

As Southern Nash arrived at the midpoint of its varsity football season still unbeaten, first-year head coach Brian Batchelor saw what he’d been looking for all season in the Firebirds’ 56-14 destruction of previously unbeaten Roanoke Rapids on Friday night.

“Physically, that’s what we should be doing,” he said. “We were tough, played hard, blocked well, played a lot better on defense. Physically, that’s what I expect from us every night.”

The 3-A Firebirds, now 5-0 overall and atop the 2-A/3-A Big East Conference, amassed 485 yards of offense, didn’t commit a turnover and limited the 2-A Yellow Jackets (4-1, 1-1 Big East) to fewer than 200 yards of offense.

But the proverbial fly in the victory soup for the Firebirds was their penchant for attracting yellow flags. Southern Nash had a season-high 13 penalties for 130 yards whistled against it.

“It was not a lot of procedural stuff either,” said Batchelor, noting that some of the bigger infractions, such as late hits, came from mental lapses.

“That’s what I told our guys. Where we’re at now, there’s nothing we (coaches) can do for them on that,” he said. “They have to make the mental decision they’re going to have to clean those things up.”

Senior Sammy Gandy ran the ball 12 times for 184 yards, including touchdown jaunts of 3 and 33 yards while junior Tralon Mitchell also surpassed the century mark with 152 yards and three TDs on 10 carries. Senior Jackson Vick, the team’s leading rusher so far this season, added 71 yards and a TD as the Firebirds racked up 467 yards on the ground.

After Gandy opened the scoring, senior Dawson May rumbled over the goal line from four yards and Vick ran in the two-point conversion for a 14-0 lead. Vick’s 2-yard TD run and Jonathan Daniels’ extra-point kick put Southern Nash up 21-0 in the second quarter.

Roanoke Rapids answered on a 52-yard scoring pass from quarterback Jonas Howard to Austin Geary. It was the first of two long TD tosses for Howard in the quarter, as he hit Wayne Wilkins on a 33-yard completion for six points to end the scoring.

However, in between those TDs, Mitchell raced 38 yards for his first score as the Firebirds led 28-14 at the half. It was all downhill for the Yellow Jackets after that. Gandy reached the end zone from 33 yards before Mitchell ripped scoring runs of 26 and 68 yards.

Zyshonne White, who fired an 18-yard halfback pass to Gandy for the Firebirds’ first completion since the opening week, completed the scoring with a 25-yard run with just under 2 minutes left in the game.

Southern Nash has an open week ahead, but Batchelor is still looking for a game next Friday to make up after having the Fike game canceled in week 3.

Southern Nash 56

Roanoke Rapids 14

                  RR SN

First Downs 12 14

Yards rushing 35-80 46-467

Yards passing 98 18

Passes-Comp.-Int. 11-4-0 1-1-0

Punts-Average 2-30 0-0

Fumbles-Lost 2-1 0-0

Penalties-Yards 1-5 13-130

Score by quarters:

Roanoke Rapids 0 14 0 0 — 14

Southern Nash 14 21 21 0 — 56

Scoring Summary:

SN — Sammy Gandy 3 run (kick failed), 9:39, 1st.

SN — Dawson May 4 run (Jackson Vick run), 4:13, 1st.

SN — Vick 2 run (Jonathan Daniels kick), 7:53, 2nd.

RR — Austin Geary 52 pass from Jonas Howard (Doug Merritt kick), 5:58, 2nd.

SN — Tralon Mitchell 38 run (kick failed), 5:11, 2nd.

RR — Wayne Wilkins 31 pass from Howard (Merritt kick), 4:22, 2nd.

SN — Gandy 33 run (Vick run), 2:27, 2nd.

SN — Mitchell 26 run (Daniels kick), 6:44, 3rd.

SN — Mitchell 68 run (Daniels kick), 4:40, 3rd.

SN — Zyshonne White 25 run (Daniels kick), 1:02, 4th.

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING — Jackson Vick 12-71, TD, 2 2-point runs; Sammy Gandy 12-184, 2 TDs; Tralon Mitchell 10-152, 3 TDs; Madison Jones 1-8; Kaden Ricks-Tucker 3-17; Leo Jones 1-2; Mason Braswell 1-9; Dawson May 1-4, TD; Brock Alford 1-minus 7; Zyshonne White 2-25, TD; Nathaniel Palacios 2-2.

PASSING — Zyshonne White 1-1-0, 18 yards.

RECEIVING — Sammy Gandy 1-18.

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