Sandlappers make good on start in avenging loss to Tar Heels

SPARTANBURG-Apparently motivated to avenge a loss to North Carolina, in the Shrine Bowl last year, the Sandlappers, of South Carolina wasted little time in turning around that finish this year opposite their Tar Heel counterparts, in the battle of high school standouts at Gibbs Stadium Saturday (Dec. 15).

And thanks to a great start out of the “gate” (a 10-0 advantage after the first quarter), the high school players, representing the Palmetto State, went on to capture a 31-24 win over the standard bearers from the Tar Heel state.  In besting a North Carolina squad that refused to go away quietly, the Sandlappers rode the arm of Blythewood quarterback Richard Mounce to victory, in the 71st playing of the prep classic involving prep participants from the neighboring states.

Mounce, who hit on 9-of-18 passes, for 249 yards, was named the offensive player of the game for South Carolina, during the match up that was played in cold and wet climatic conditions.Sterling Lucas, who COLUMBIA-In the past few days South Carolina running back Cory Boyd received a couple of honors that he is most proud of.

Boyd, who hails from Orange, New Jersey, was recently picked to participate in the upcoming 83rd East-West Shrine Game.  Finishing the (2007) campaign as the leading rusher for the Gamecocks, with 903 yards on 180 carries, the stalwart runner is set to play in the postseason game, which is scheduled to take place on Jan. 19 at John O’Quinn campus.

This past Monday afternoon (Dec. 16), Boyd received his highest honor to date, when his named was called at the Colonial Center; and he walked across the stage to receive his college degree, during Winter Commencement ceremonies, at the University of South Carolina.

Exclaiming his satisfaction for being named to play in the East-West game, Boyd was highly pleased earlier in the week, after getting a degree many thought he would never receive.

Cory Boydat Robertson Stadium on the University of Houston CHARLOTTE-Trying to finish strongly in a season that has been anything but successful, the Carolina Panthers made the necessary plays Sunday (Dec. 16), to defeat the visiting Seattle Seahawks.

However, before capturing win number six versus eight losses, the home standing Panthers could not be somewhat at ease until reserve running back DeAngelo Williams dashed for six, to put the game out of reach, with 1:17 left to play.  Williams’ late game 35-yard burst to pay dirt in the National Football Conference (NFC) outing, wherein all the scoring was done in the fourth quarter, sealed the deal in the Panthers’ 13-10 win, at Bank of America Stadium, before an announced crowd of 73,421.

En route to only their second triumph of the current campaign, the men of Carolina were led by their fourth quarterback, in free agent rookie Matt Moore. Moore, from Oregon State, took over for ailing Vinny Testaverde, who couldn’t go because of injuries sustained earlier in the season.

Moore was 19-27, in the passing department, for 208 yards, in his role as a starter.   

On the heels of helping Carolina to get the gut-check win over the Seahawks, Moore was given a lot of credit by his Panther mates, who obviously thought he held his own, during the victory, which kept the playoffs hope of John Fox’s charges alive, barely.

“I thought he did what he had to do to help us win,” said defensive end Mike Rucker. “He was a steady influence when we needed him to be, and this certainly was critical in this game.”   

Steve Smith, who held onto eight passes, for 72 yards, from Moore, cited him for his ability to get the attention of people.

“He knows how to command people’s attention, and I thought he did a great job in this game.“

As far as getting the win (goes), I think it’s good. We need to finish out this season in a strong way.

”Fox, reflecting on the positive result opposite the Seahawks, indicated that he was just happy to be on the winning side of the ledger once again.

However, the Carolina coach refused to read too much in the close win that he attributed to players who’re real professionals, with a lot of pride.  In edging Seattle for the win, the Panthers turned in strong play against the rush, holding the Seahawk runners to only 44 yards, on 14 rushes.

Sandlappers make good on start in avenging loss to Tar Heels turned in the defensive play-of-the-game, was tabbed the defensive player-of-the-game, for his exploits that included an interception in the end zone, a recovery on a kick-off and another pick-off a Tar Heels pass.

The late second quarter theft of a ‘Heels’ pass was returned to the 19-yard line, and turned back a North Carolina scoring threat that had carried to the Sandlappers’ one.  In spite of the adverse weather, the Sandlappers, with Mounce and backup field general Reid McCollum sharing duty as signal caller along with key receivers, in A.J. Green of Summerville and Jaron Brown of Cheraw, still managed to compile 409 yards in total offense.

Of the total, 316 came via the air route.  McCollum, in spot duty, was4-8, with 2 interceptions, for 67 yards. Green caught four passes, for 108 yards, including a 17-yard scoring toss from McCollum late in third quarter action.    

Brown ended play with two catches, for 64 yards, highlighted by his 42-yard third stanza scoring catch from Mounce.  Serving in a back-up role Reggie Kennedy acknowledged that he put a lot of weight on his shoulders in directing the Sandlappers to the important win.“I feel really relieved,” said Kennedy, the Orangeburg- Wilkinson tutor, who was pinch-hitting for David Farnham, the late coach of Blue Ridge, who passed away in November because of cancer. “I added a little pressure on myself to win the game for coach Farnham. One thing we wanted to do as a team—-as a family—-was to get a win on his behalf.  “North Carolina was a challenge to us, as I expected; but our players did what they had to do to win. I’m proud of all of them, and our coaching staff for the effort they gave (in winning this game).

"Pointing out that his time was well spent while practicing and playing for the South Carolina team, Kenneth Page emphasized the importance of being ready to play against the Tar Heel squad“At game time, we had to bring our ‘A’ game because North Carolina is a great team,” said Page, and offensive lineman from A.C. Flora.