It took two trips across the state line, but South Columbus came home with a 20-12 victory over the Loris Lions Friday evening. The game had been moved up a day with the hope of avoiding inclement weather. Thursday evening thunderstorms, just before kickoff, caused the game to be returned to its Friday night start. “Getting the game played Friday was big,” says Stallion coach Russell Dove. “We knew it wasn’t going to pretty. We hung in there, got some breaks and found a way to put it in the win column.”
South Columbus drove deep into Loris territory on the game’s opening drive before turning the ball over on downs. Loris was unable to manage a first down after taking possession. . The Stallions mishandled the Lions’ punt and Loris recovered the football. A 38-yard pass play set up a five-yard touchdown pass from Levon Stevenson to Travis Walters to give the Lions a 6-0 lead.
Trequan Bellamy’s two-yard run and Adolfo Cardenas’ kick gave the Stallions a 7-6 lead with a minute remaining in the first quarter. Loris fumbled away the following kickoff. The Stallions quickly took advantage as Seth Buffkin scored from one-yard out on the first play of the second quarter. Cardenas’ extra point moved the Stallion advantage to 14-6. The score remained there until the third quarter.
Stevenson connected with Jahrique Isaiah on a 41-yard catch and run to pull Loris within two at 9:13 in the third quarter. The two-point conversion attempt failed. South Columbus recovered a muffed punt later in the third quarter on the Loris 13. The Stallions squandered the scoring chance, fumbling away the ball inside the Lions’ five-yard line.
The Stallions were able to pad the lead when Seth Buffkin bulled in from two-yards out with 10:04 left in the game. The extra point was missed keeping the Lions within a touchdown and two-point conversion of tying.
Midway the final quarter Isaiah returned a Stallion punt to South’s 29-yard line. The Stallion defense held, aided by two Lion penalties. A desperation heave on fourth and 23 fell incomplete. South Columbus took over possession with 3:23 left. The Stallions faced fourth and two with 2:23 left, but were able to pull the Lions offside to convert the first down. South was able to run out the remaining time on the clock.
The Stallions’ Traquan Bellamy amassed 97 yards on 11 rushes and one reception. Seth Buffkin rushed for 41 yards. “Our defense played well with the exception of a couple of big plays,” says Dove. ” We need more consistency on offense. Some little things need fixing. There is no magic formula. Hard work, repetition, we’ll clean it up.”
Friday’s win was the first South Columbus victory at Loris in its last four trips to the Palmetto State. South Columbus is now 2-0. The Stallions host Red Springs in its TRC opener Friday.