First Posted: 1/15/2009
RED SPRINGS - For David Lovette, Friday night's game at Red Springs was just like old times.
Lovette, who is a Red Springs alumnus and coached the Red Devils the last four seasons, returned to the school that he led to the playoffs the last two seasons and notched a 42-14 victory. Only this time, the first-year Gray's Creek coach did it as a visitor.
“It's a lot better than losing,” Lovette said of beating his old team. “Red Springs played hard tonight and I've got to give credit to their kids. They were up for the game and they played hard, but we ended up winning.”
The turning point of the game may have came on the first play of the second half. Trailing 21-14, the Red Devils, 1-4, tried an onside kick to start the third quarter, but were instead penalized when they attempted to recover the ball about two yards too soon. The Bears, with good field position at the Devils' 39-yard line, quickly scored when quarterback Blake Smith found tailback Marquan Brown in the endzone from 29 yards out to go up 28-14.
“I decided to pump their morale and try that onside kick to open up the second half,” said Red Springs coach Clay Jernigan. “I came a yard and a half from being a hero, and instead I became a zero. But that's part of football.”
Gray's Creek, 3-1, controlled the game from there as they cruised to the win.
Red Springs jumped to an early lead about five minutes into the game when tailback Phillip Campbell burst outside on the Devils' first possession and sprinted 83 yards down the sideline to put his team up 7-0.
Gray's Creek responded on the next possession when running back Greg Blue broke through for a 26-yard touchdown run.
Campbell put the Devils back on top, 14-7, when he pounded through the middle of the defense and then got loose for a 41-yard score. The Bears again tied it up on the ensuing possession, though, when tailback Chance Pringle scored from 15 yards out.
Gray's Creek got another touchdown, on a 1-yard sneak from Smith, to reach its 21-14 halftime lead.
“I think the boys played hard,” Jernigan said. “(Gray's Creek) is a real strong team that was picked to go deep in the playoffs and they showed their speed tonight. I was real proud of the effort we had.”
Campbell led the Devils ground attack with 236 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries.
“He's going to be the workhorse and he's getting better,” Jernigan said of Campbell.
Lovette, who coached Campbell as a freshman last year, said he knew the speedy sophomore wouldn't be easy to contain.
“I knew was going to be tough,” Lovette said. “We knew he was good and we knew he was their man. We tried to gameplan for him, but we didn't do a good job of it to start.”