LEBANON — Southmont led at the half but not at the end of the game, in a 30-6 football loss to Lebanon in Sagamore Conference action.
The Mounties controlled the first half and led 6-0, but the Tigers made a couple defensive adjustments and got the offense going, as they put 30 on the board in the last two quarters.
The loss drops South to 3-5 overall and 2-4 in the league, while Lebanon moves to 4-4 on the season and 4-2 in the Sagamore.
“It was a great first half,” South coach Desson Hannum said. “We came ready to play, got a really good push off the ball and we were able to move the ball.”
The Mounties had the Tigers by the tail in the first two quarters.
They took the opening kickoff and ran 15 plays and used up two-thirds of the first-quarter clock before being stopped on downs.
Getting the ball back in the second quarter, South went another nine plays and 80 yards as Isaiah McMasters scored his first touchdown of the season on a nine-yard run.
In the meantime, the weather had grounded the Tigers league-leading pass attack, and South had slowed down the home team’s ground game. Lebanon had one pass completion and 63 total yards.
“Southmont did a great job,” Tigers coach Jeff Smock said. “They always make it tough on us defensively. Coach Hannum just picks things apart and they really limited us. We struggled offensively and tackled poorly on defense.”
Nearly everything changed in the second half.
The spitting rain stopped falling, which gave the Tigers some passing options. They also made a couple defensive adjustments that kept the Mounties away from their bread and butter running game.
“We got into a lot more third and longs,” Hannum said. “Those are always tough situations.”
McMasters, who had 94 rush yards at halftime, found the going tough. He was limited to nine in the second half. South had only 11 yards of second-half offense.
“We just executed so much better in the second half,” Smock said. “The weather opened up, we tweaked some things and defensively we limited Southmont on first downs. In the first half they were getting six yards on first, and in the second we slowed them down some. We got a big touchdown on our first drive, turned an interception into points on our second, and that really helped set us up. We got a couple big plays that were big.”
Leading 16-6 going into the fourth quarter, the Tigers, who were honoring their four seniors, put touchdowns on the board in their last two possessions to seal the win.
One of those seniors, Easton Williamson, returned from several weeks on the injured list to rush for 168 yards and one TD.
Garrett Harker, leading the conference with over 1,500 pass yards, was limited to 105 but did throw for three touchdowns.
McMasters picked up the third 100-yard rush game of the season to lead South. They finished with 119 rushing yards.
Cameron Giles was 4-of-11 passing for 34 yards and was picked once. The senior had one of the more interesting plays of the year when he ad-libbed a play on 4th-and-8 by running to his left, stopping and then shot-putting the ball down-field where Dillan Lauy was waiting along the sideline. The play went for 13 yards, and kept the drive going that climaxed in the South TD.
“It was good to be in the game,” Hannum said, noting the two previous lopsided games. “The guys gave a great effort tonight. It was good to see Isaiah run the ball so well. He ran hard and the line gave him openings. We had a better week of practice and we are still working hard to get better every day and every game. The end of the regular season is only a week away, and I thought we were a lot better football team tonight.”
LEBANON 30, SOUTHMONT 6
Southmont 0 6 0 0 — 6
Lebanon 0 0 16 14 — 30
SM: McMasters 9-yd run (pass fail) 4:02
L: Harker 8-yd pass to Reese (Reese to Kaylor) 9:04
L: Williamson 23-yd run (Harker to Stillwell) 5:22
L: Harker 11-yd pass to Reese (Coddington kick) 4:12
L: Harker 42-yd pass to French (Coddington kick) 2:14
Team Stats SM LEB
First downs 9 13
Rushes-yds 39-119 36-175
Comp-Att-Int 4-11-1 6-11-0
Pass yds 34 105
Total yds 280 153
Pen-yds 4-40 7-40
Fumbles-lost 2-1 0
Punts-avg 4-40.3 4-33.8
SM: McMasters 15-103, Giles 16-12, Whitecotton 5-7, Lauy 4(-3); LEB: Williamson 27-168, Harker 6-5, Wilson 3-2.
SM: Giles 4-11-34; LEB Harker 6-11-105.
SM: Lowe 1-14, Lauy 1-13, Whitecotton 1-5, McMasters 1-2; LEB: JC Reese 3-29, French 2-58, M Reese 1-18.