ROWLAND — Andrew Hill back-pedaled, reversed field and stumbled backward before losing 22 yards on an innocent handoff in the second quarter.
South Robeson’s tailback and Robeson County’s leading rusher had no room to behind an offensive line that was handled by Three Rivers Conference co-leader South Columbus Friday night as the Stallions shut down the Mustangs, 51-16.
South Columbus (5-2, 3-0) improved to 5-0 all-time against South Robeson with a dominant rushing attack fueled by junior Rashaad Chatman and scored on all five first-half possessions. The Mustangs had only one first down by the time Stallions wideout Sam Dixon Jr. made a diving 32-yard touchdown reception midway through the second quarter to put South Columbus ahead, 30-0.
“Guys couldn’t get off of blocks and we didn’t open many holes,” South Robeson coach Stephen Roberson said. “They’re strong and physical up front. They’re a good team.”
South Robeson’s (5-2, 2-1) five-game winning streak came to an end after the Stallions limited the Mustangs well below their average on the ground. South Robeson got on the board late in the first half with a touchdown pass on third down from Kalvis Chavis, but failed to convert on 4th-and-goal inside the 10 twice in the third quarter.
“We had a lot of momentum killers early in the game,” Roberson said. “We would’ve liked to score on those fourth down situations, but it would’ve been cosmetic. The game was already out of reach.”
South Columbus manufactured a six consecutive touchdown drive after intermission, this one a 14-play march that provided the dagger on a combination of misdirections and sweeps against a tired South Robeson defense. Offensively, the Mustangs never got going on the ground against the Stallions’ first-team strength up front.
“We knew they had two really good backs and that they were shifty,” South Columbus coach Jake Fonvielle said. “I think we did a great job. Our kids played hard and what we did offensively let our defense fly around a little bit.”
Chatman used his 6-foot-2, 230-pound frame to demolish the Mustangs in the trenches, finishing with a season-high 152 yards rushing and two touchdowns. He carried several Mustang defenders on his back the final 15 yards of a 25-yard gain to open the fourth quarter, giving way to Stallion second-teamers the rest of the way.
South Columbus won its fifth straight game and will take on East Columbus next week.
“Rashaad’s capable of having the game he had tonight, but he started a little slow this season,” Fonvielle said. “Tonight, he did what we thought he could do.
South Robeson’s lone bright spot was on special teams as Darius Monley piled up more than 165 return yards. Hill accumulated 106 yards rushing but 58 of those yards came with less than six minutes to play in the fourth quarter.
Reach staff writer Brad Crawford at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MrPalmettoSDS.