South Johnston just needed about 68 hours to get things together as the 2016 prep football season opened for the Trojans.
South Johnston scored 42 unanswered points in the resumption of its Friday night affair against Franklinton Monday evening to grab a 61-22 victory.
The Trojans held the Red Rams scoreless in the second portion of the game — play picked up with just more than two minutes left in the first half, intercepting four passes on defense and putting together a 29-point third quarter at Ronald Avery Stadium.
THEY SAID IT
First-year South Johnston coach Matt Riggsbee: “Somebody more powerful than me didn’t want us to lose Friday night. Because every time we got in a tough spot against Franklinton — a team I give a lot of credit to, there was some lightning all of a sudden. … I have to give it to our guys, they got two days to adjust to what they saw and played a lot better tonight.”
After South Johnston scored to take a 26-22 lead with 26.9 seconds left in the first half, junior defensive back Markayle McClain intercepted a pass on the ensuing Franklinton drive. The Trojans got the ball to start the second half, scored again quickly, then picked off another Red Rams pass deep in scoring territory.
Hezikiah Bailey, Walter Miller and Sharod Bailey had South’s other interceptions on the night.
“Our secondary got banged up in the scrimmages and last week,” Riggsbee said. “We had two first-year guys at safety starting on Friday night and we made plays together as a defense.”
THREE TO KNOW
Landen Lockamy, South Johnston: Lockamy completed his first nine passes of the season and finished the night 13-of-18 for 188 yards and 3 touchdowns.
He hit both Javante Smith and Caleb Robinson with ideal back shoulder throws in the corner of the end zone for scores against good Franklinton coverage.
Kavante Johnson, South Johnston: He put in his application form for workhouse back with 184 yards on 20 carries and a TD. The Trojans ran for 389 yards on the night.
Caleb Robinson, South Johnston: The senior posted 116 yards rushing as well, giving the Trojans a two-headed rushing attack that the Rams struggled to figure out in Monday’s portion of the game.
BY THE NUMBERS
2: Two Rivers 3A Conference quarterbacks who posted a perfect NFL-scale quarterback rating in their season opener. Lockamy did it Monday night, just as Cleveland quarterback Caiden Norman did on Friday night against Clayton.
58: Total net offensive yards by Franklinton in the final 26-plus minutes of playing time of the game that came on Monday night.
78: Games since South Johnston has scored more than the 61 points it put up Monday night in a single game. The Trojans beat North Lenoir 84-6 on Oct. 30, 2009. South Johnston advanced to the NCHSAA 3AA state championship game that season.
187: Offensive yards for Franklinton quarterback Kyeon Spencer who had a great Friday night but struggled against South’s stellar defensive play on Monday night.
3: Practice days South has to get ready for big rival West Johnston, a point Riggsbee was quick to direct his team’s attention to in the postgame locker room huddle a few seconds after the season-opening win celebration.