Saginaw subdued South Hills Friday night, 33-14, at Clark Stadium in the District 3-5A, Division I opener for both schools.
The Rough Riders (3-0) scored on all five of their first half possessions for a 33-0 lead.
Saginaw did not score in the second half as most of its starters were yanked after the first series following intermission. Both South Hill touchdowns were scored in the fourth quarter.
J.T. Kennard scored the first two touchdowns on receptions from Kameron Williams. In fact, Williams, a senior, completed his first eight passes and his first incompletion was only because his receiver caught the ball with one foot out-of-bounds in the end zone in what otherwise would have been a touchdown.
On Kennard’s first TD catch, the senior wide receiver took a pass on a screen in the flats near the line of scrimmage and ran down the sideline for the 18-yard score. It culminated a five-play, 80-yard drive.
Kennard’s second touchdown catch was in the back corner of the end zone for 14 yards. It ended a six-play, 45-yard drive.
Saginaw’s third touchdown was also a pass by Williams and his recipient provided probably the most spectacular play of the night. Blayne Taylor made a diving one-handed catch in the right side of the end zone for a 20-yard score. It gave the Rough Riders a 20-0 lead with 2:39 left in the first quarter. It came on the first play from scrimmage after a mishandled kickoff return turned the ball over.
Taylor was Williams’ favorite target, finishing with eight catches for 88 yards. Williams went 12-13-0 for 144 yards.
In spite of Saginaw’s dominance, it looked as though South Hills (1-2) would strike first blood. The opening kick was bobbled and the Scorpions recovered at the Rough Rider 24-yard line. Three plays later, South Hills was at the one-yard doorstep with first down and goal to go. The last play was a run for 13 yards up the middle by Jaishaun Mitchell.
On the play subsequent to Mitchell’s run though, the ball was hiked over the head of quarterback John Vela in shotgun formation. Vela recovered but lost 12 yards on the miscue. The drive stalled and a 30-yard field goal attempt appeared partially blocked.
The Scorpions did enginer another drive in the second quarter down 27-0. They moved from their 25 to the Saginaw 14 helped by an interception that was fumbled back, but were stopped on fourth down.