Southampton falls to Surry County Cougars 30-7

Published 12:48 pm Saturday, October 19, 2013

Southampton’s Devine Fenner runs the ball in Friday night’s game. -- DIANE ZEIGLER | TIDEWATER NEWS

Southampton’s Devine Fenner runs the ball in Friday night’s game. — DIANE ZEIGLER | TIDEWATER NEWS

Contributing writer

COURTLAND—A pass-happy Surry County squad gained 246 yards through the air as the Cougars dumped Southampton 30-7 and spoiled the Indians’ homecoming festivities Friday night.

Southampton dropped to 1-6 on the season and was left searching for answers as the penalty-ridden Indians committed 11 miscues and gained just 45 yards of offense in the first half. Head coach Willie Gillus asked his players after the game to assess their play and then talk about it on Monday.

“They play well in spurts and then penalties hurt us, and then we have a protection breakdown, and little breakdowns here and there,” Gillus said. “We have to work it out on the practice field.”

He said he knew Surry could throw the ball, but the Indians were hoping to stop the run. The Cougars (5-3) were able to roll up 136 yards on the ground, 99 of that in the second half.

Late in the first quarter, the Cougars began what was to be a 13-play, 55-yard scoring drive that relied on the pass. It was also a drive that Southampton could have stopped twice. Two times, Surry had fourth and long situations, but was able to connect on passes to keep the drive alive. On a third and goal from the 3-yard line, quarterback Derrick Bailey hit pay dirt on a run. The two-point conversion failed, but the Cougars led 6-0 with 10:57 to play in the half.

Surry took over with 3:48 left in the half and erupted. Bailey hit Timothy Marsh with a 30-yard strike and on the next play Bailey connected with DeAndre Davis for a 21-yard touchdown in less than a minute. Bailey’s two-point conversion pass to Jarad Barry made it 14-0.

Southampton had a three and out on its next series, which included two penalties. Surry took over on its own 34 with 1:41 to play in the half and went on a surgical, five-play drive, all through the air. Bailey hit Marsh with 16-yard and 13-yard passes, and then tossed a nine-yard touchdown strike to Donnie Little with 30 seconds to play in the half. It was Bailey to Marsh for the two-point conversion and a 22-0 lead.

“Initially, in the first half, we couldn’t get any offense going and we kept the defense on the field too much. Penalties really hurt us. We’d stop them, and we’d get a penalty,” Gillus said.

Southampton showed signs of life to open the second half. The Indians went to the air and on the third play of the opening drive, quarterback Russell Ballance threw a 55-yard touchdown strike to Jameson Long. Ballance booted the extra point and the score was 22-7. Ironically, the Indians picked up more yards on that one pass play then they had in the entire first half.

But that’s all Southampton could muster, as the Cougars chewed up clock — killing yardage on the ground. Little gained 56 yards on the ground in the second half (90 on the evening). Surry held the ball for six straight minutes in the third quarter and added one more insurance score on a one-yard plunge by Bailey with 57 seconds left in the third quarter. Little’s extra point made it at 30-7.

“I think our effort in the third quarter was not what we wanted it to be,” Gillus said. “I think we could have played a whole lot harder.”

Ballance was 7-for-14 for 92 yards through the air for Southampton.

Gillus said he did see some positives in the game, particularly the play of some of his freshman.

“I saw some bright spots with some of the young kids that came in. You try to look at the positives regardless of what the score is,” he said. “We played four ninth-graders and two of them showed some promise.”

The Indians travel to Windsor next Friday.

“We are just going to try to stop them. We have to get better on both sides of the ball,” Gillus noted.