ROWLAND — The South Robeson football team picked up its first win over a Class 2-A school since 2013 in its 36-22 Three Rivers Conference win at home, taking advantage of turnovers by West Bladen.
But first, the host school allowed its cheerleaders (who took knees) and players (who remained in the locker room) to disrespect the National Anthem prior to the start of the game — an action that is getting plenty of attention on social media.
The Knights took a 14-0 lead early behind a 63-yard touchdown run by B.J. Drake and a 19-yard fumble return by Dayvon Swindell — both in the first quarter.
But the Mustangs fought back, scoring 30 unanswered points on the ground and through the air to take the win.
“It could’ve been easy for them to fold at 14-0, but the kids kept working,” South Robeson coach Clay Jernigan said. “They felt like they were walking on air after the game. I told them before the program hadn’t beat a 2A team since 2013 and they made it a point they wanted to win it.”
South Robeson, led by senior running back Darius Wright, took a 22-14 lead into halftime. Wright scored on an 8-yard run in the first quarter to close the gap to 14-8 and then a 3-yard run in the second period to knot the game at 14-14.
The Mustangs took the lead with a touchdown early in the second half on a 1-yard run by Wright and a two-point conversion for a 30-14 edge.
Drake accounted for West Bladen’s next eight points with touchdown and two-point conversion with a 2-yard run followed by a scamper to the end zone that pulled the visitors to within 30-22.
But the Knights were done from there.
South Robeson sealed the win with a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Sophomore quarterback Tyler Locklear tossed two touchdowns in the win while going 5-for-10 for 113 yards. Both of his scoring tosses went to Darrius Brown.
After West Bladen running back B.J. Drake ran for 96 yards in the first half, the Mustangs put the clamps on and held him to 2 yards after halftime. He rushed for 98 total yards and two scores on 10 carries.
“Too many fumbles aand penalties,” said West Bladen coach Kris Williams. “And they capitalized on our turnovers.”
The Knights had seven turnovers in the first half.
West Bladen, now 3-3 overall and 1-3 in the conference, will host Whiteville on Friday in a conference game at 7 p.m.