DUNLAP, Tenn. — South Pittsburg senior defensive lineman Cameron Grider stepped up to deliver a huge swing of momentum right before halftime Friday night at Sequatchie County.
It was one of several big plays that helped Class 1A's top-ranked Pirates win 29-7 against Class 3A's seventh-ranked Indians.
With the hosts having just forced back-to-back turnovers and hoping to tie the score just before halftime, Grider got his hand up in the air to tip a dump-off pass over the middle to himself. On the interception return, the big man made a cut inside late to complete the 55-yard touchdown.
"I had a scoop and score last year, but this defensive touchdown has to be my all-time favorite," said Grider, whose score came with eight seconds left in the half for a 21-7 lead. "It meant a lot to me to step up like that in a big-time moment in a big-time game. This is one I definitely will remember."
The Pirates improved to 4-0 behind not only a stellar defense, but on the legs of a determined senior in Jamarion Farrior. On just five carries, Farrior scored all three of South Pittsburg's offensive touchdowns, including a pair of 39-yard bursts down the sideline with him taking the snap in the wildcat formation.
South Pittsburg scored the final touchdown with 18 seconds left in the third quarter as Farrior threw his hands up in the air before reaching the end zone on his run down the visitors' sideline.
"All week our coach told us this is not an easy team," said Farrior, who rushed for 90 yards on five carries and had 7 yards receiving. "They were ranked in the state, and it was going to be a dogfight. We came in here and they allowed us to run the ball, and that's what we did. This offense can adjust to whatever we have to do in order to win."
Pirates cornerback Racash Kelly did not allow a catch all game by Sequatchie's Braylon Long, who entered the night with 309 receiving yards and four scores this season. South Pittsburg's J.R. Hardrick, Ranye Tipton, Cavin Gilley and Grider combined for five sacks.
Sequatchie County (3-1) cut its deficit to 14-7 early in the second quarter on Sam Evitts' 10th touchdown pass of the season, an 18-yard strike to Hunter Minton over the middle. Indians freshman Kason Hicks stood out with 139 total yards (76 rushing, 63 receiving) and a fumble recovery.
Contact Patrick MacCoon at firstname.lastname@example.org.