Jaylin Willis was stuffed at the goal-line in the fourth quarter keeping the game scoreless.
However, on the next drive Willis and the Southridge Spartans would not be denied.
Willis completed two key passes on the drive and George Young capped it off with a six-yard touchdown run with 1:25 to lift Southridge to a 7-0 win over Belen Jesuit.
“We are very exuberant because we spent about five times in the red zone and we weren’t able to capitalize,” Southridge interim head coach Arties Knight said. “Had we had capitalized on one of those it would have been a
different ball game. It was sloppy, personnel wasn’t in there properly, and we were faltering all over the place, but it feels good to get our second win of the season.”
Southridge (2-7) outgained Belen Jesuit (5-5) in total yards 308-129 to earn their second win in three weeks after an 0-6 start.
“Six weeks ago we were in disarray,” Knight said. “The kids were distraught, they didn’t know where we were going. I went in there the first game and tried to keep the old system, but it wasn’t working so I started to add a little bit of my stuff and that’s what I’ve done each week. The guys got
familiar it, but we were just so undisciplined along the way, which costs us several victories along the way like against Norland and South Dade.”
Willis entered the game late in the third quarter and provided a spark, completing 5 of 6 passes for 35 yards while starter Fanelle Andrus was 6 of 16 for 60 yards and an interception.
While Willis sparked the offense, it was Young who ignited it. He had a 37-yard run on the drive that was stopped at the goal-line and caught a 12-yard pass from Willis on the first play of the game-winning drive, which began at the Belen 45 with 2:21 left.
Young finished with a team-high 79 yards on seven carries and also caught two passes for 18 yards.
Southridge had chances earlier in the game to get on the scoreboard, but Kevin Butchers had a 21-yard field goal blocked on the Spartans' first drive of the game.
While the offense was unable to break through until late, the Spartans’
defense remained stout. They held Belen Jesuit standout Don Chaney Jr. in check after runs of 29 and 25 yards early to finish with 72 yards on eight carries before leaving in the third quarter with a sprained ankle.
It was the second shutout by the Spartans in three weeks.
“The defense held us up, I must give them props,” Knight said. “They made a few mistakes, but they really carried us whereas the offense was usually carrying us in the past. I’m really happy for my defensive coordinator because he’s been going through a lot with these kids. All of us have. Everybody wants to find a scape goat for what has been going on, but it’s a team game and we’re all to blame.”
Southridge concludes its season against Killian (7-2) at home on Friday at 7:30.
Southridge (2-7) 0 0 0 7 - 7
Belen Jesuit (5-5) 0 0 0 0 - 0
Southridge - Young 6 run (Butchers kick)
Young 7-79, Saunders 8-53, Collier-McCray 3-28, Andrus 4-22, Parrish 2-16, Jones 3-11, Willis 3-7, Ford 1-3, McCoo 1--4.
Belen Jesuit: Chaney 8-72, Gonzalez 4-14, Sloan 4-10, Puente 7-1, Aguero 3-1, Castano 1--4.
Andrus 6-16-1, 60, Willis 5-6-0, 35.
Gonzalez 4-11-2, 35.
Jerry 6-46, Young 2-18, Evans 1-14, Jones 1-13, Collier-McCray 1-4. Belen Jesuit: Alonso 2-25, Broucek 1-7, Chaney 1-3.