Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

May 17, 2014

Recipe for success

Turnovers spark White past Red in Lowndes spring game

VALDOSTA — Forcing turnovers is usually a recipe for success.

The White team certainly started cooking Friday night at Martin Stadium once it started getting turnovers as it rallied past the Red team 33-24 in the Lowndes High spring scrimmage. Red turned it over five times, four coming in the second half on the team’s final four possessions to help White overcome a double-digit deficit.

“You can kind of expect that kind of stuff in the spring,” Lowndes coach Randy McPherson said. “Turnovers and sloppy play, but we’re looking to clean things up and get better each day.”

The first of those three late turnovers was the play that changed momentum. With Red leading 24-13 and having forced two straight three-and-outs from White, Joc Alexander jumped in front of a Red receiver on a deep jump ball and raced across the turf and down the home sideline 60 yards for a score.

Following a fumble on Red’s next possession, White used seven plays to cover 28 yards and take the lead for good at 26-24 with 10:02 remaining. Ahmad Sneed completed the drive, bouncing off a handful of Red defenders, on a 2-yard run.

Red regrouped and drove into White territory before turning it over on downs at the 34 with 6:21 remaining. White, in a typical Lowndes drive that churned up yards while burning up clock, used nine plays — all runs — and added the final score on a 41-yard run with 1:41 remaining. White rushed for 141 yards on 45 carries as a team, while adding 94 yards on 5-of-16 passing. White only turned it over one time.

Brian Bell, the Vikings’ star linebacker and a Florida State commit, then intercepted a Red pass on the ensuing play to seal the win.

Prior to the turnovers, it looked like Red was taking control as it scored with just nine seconds left in the first half to take its first lead at 17-13. Then, on the first drive of the second half, the Red team used a big pass play on the first snap to move deep into White territory and five plays later, a passing touchdown put Red up 24-13. Red completed six of its first seven passes for 169 yards and also rushed for 146 yards on 35 carries.

“We tried to put half the players on one team and half on the other and we tried to put the skill evenly,” McPherson noted. “Not necessarily put the best offense together and the best defense together.

“And we tried to make them play an offensive position and a defensive position for the spring. That’s not going to do anything but give us depth down the road.”

Passing plays also provided a big lift for both teams early, as each scored on its first offensive snap. Opening the game, White used a big block down the home sideline to spring Carlos Lee on a 65-yard pass play. Red then answered back with a halfback pass that left a receiver wide open and also covered 65 yards. The teams then traded field goals — two from White’s Will Solomon and one from Red’s Nick Hart — prior to the score right before the half.

“I think we had a very good spring,” McPherson said. “Very pleased with the effort and we still have a long way to go, but we have a bunch of good kids.”

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