South Pittsburg Pirates take the stinger out of the Lookout Valley Yellow Jackets


Lookout Valley to host Hayesville and South Pittsburg hosts Murphy for next games


By Brandon Stephens


(Chattanooga) – – South Pittsburg’s Pirate (2-1) defense and too many mistakes Lookout Valley Yellow Jackets (2-1) are the factors that almost lead to a shutout game.  Pirate offense scored on almost every possession leading to a running clock in the second half and a 65-to-6 final score.

South Pittsburg took advantage of every Yellow Jacket miscue, turnover, or interception and spun it into gold.  Through a majority of the first half the ball never left Lookout Valley territory giving the Pirates short field position to jump into touchdown town.  Initially, Lookout Valley had a bad snap to the punter which gave the ball to the Pirates on the 37 yards line.  Pirate Wide Receiver Nas Starkey easily went into the end zone for the first touchdown.  Kicker Jacob Bivens had trouble parking the point after kick (PAT), but eventually nailed the PATs.  After returning the possession, the Yellow Jackets threw an interception to JaMychal Buckner.  Racash Kelly carried the ball for a 17-yard touchdown run and Buckner scored a 2-point conversion.  By the end of the first, Quarterback Kamden Wellington was facing short field position and on a one-yard keeper scored to make the score South Pittsburg 20 Lookout Valley 0.

The game was on an obvious path to a second half running clock after South Pittsburg tallied two touchdowns in the first four minutes of the second quarter on a pass play to Bivens and a pick-6 interception by Taja Robinson.  Two more touchdowns came from the defense by recovering a Yellow Jacket fumble and another interception.  At the 5:46 mark the Pirates had extended the lead to 44-to-0 to end the half.

Most of the second half featured second string Pirates, including Freshman Quarterback Kadyn Pace, who demonstrated talent like Junior Wellington.  Pirate fans were able to see a pass from Pace, while most of the second half showed run plays that placed Kelly and Buckner in the end zone.  In the last seconds of the fourth quarter, Lookout Valley was able to grab the ball and score to avoid a shutout.

Take Aways

South Pittsburg orchestrated a near flawless football game.  A horse collar, block in the back, and rare procedure call were the only penalties noted in the game.  Those penalties were not enough to stifle South Pittsburg.  The Pirate offensive front line should be credited for protecting the quarterback.  The Pirates in the trenches gave Kamden Wellington had enough time to drink a pot of coffee and then launch the play.  This game demonstrated the diversity of play and options South Pittsburg can make on its opponents.  South Pittsburg Head Coach Wes Stone commented on the game.  His comments can be heard at the link in this article.

Lookout Valley had too many turnovers to be competitive with the defending 1-A state champions.  Going into this game, the Yellow Jackets had good games.  They defeated Mount Juliet Christian Academy 28-to-6 and Community Vikings 21-to-14.  Through the first half Lookout Valley failed to convert on fourth down, fumbled, and threw a few interceptions.  The four first-half turnovers dug a hole the Yellow Jackets could not recover.  The rolling clock in the second half did nothing to help any hope to mount any kind of come-back.  Coach Joshua Payne noted the Yellow Jackets’ mistakes were costly.  Coach Payne’s comments can be heard at the link in this article.–IRiY

Side Notes

The South Pittsburg Pirates are the proud Champions of several state 1-A titles.  Coach Wes Stone is a member of a Tennessee family that jingles of gold when they have a family reunion.  Father Johnny played on the 1969 Championship team.  Almost 30 years later Wes and his brother Matt would play on the 1994 and 1999 Championship teams, respectively.  Wes’ son Jake would earn his championship ring in 2010.  Number 5 Jace Stone, Wes’ younger son is on the current Pirate team, which you can guess has a goal to go back to Murfreesboro for a fifth member of the team to win the state title and build a new chapter to the storied family’s football legacy at South Pittsburg.

Next Games

Two Smoky Mountain Conference teams will visit these two teams in the coming week.  Murphy wanted to play South Pittsburg last fall.  COVID-19 stop the Pirates playing Murphy and an additional game.  The Bulldogs and Pirates will meet up, for what is expected to be a challenging game on Friday, August 9th.  Murphy is coming off an exciting 15-14 win at Commerce (GA).  On that same night, the Hayesville Yellow Jackets will travel to Lookout Valley.  Hayesville defeated North Georgia 48-to-14.  Team FYN Sports is working on a broadcast or coverage of the South Pittsburg vs Murphy game.  Stay connected to Team FYN Sports for more details.

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