Lionel Long Reidsville

Reidsville's Lionel Long looks to turn upfield during the Rams' 24-7 win over Brevard.

What

NCHSAA Class 2-A West semifinal

Where

Community Stadium, Reidsville

Why the Rams won

Reidsville didn’t have much success initially, falling behind 7-0 in the first quarter. But the Rams tied the score in the second and would go on take the lead at the half. Reidsville's defense really battened down the hatches in the second half, holding Brevard scoreless the rest of the way.

Why the Blue Devils lost

All season long, Brevard’s bread and butter has been a strong run game balanced with a stout defense. The Blue Devils came as advertised for three quarters, but Reidsville seemed to figure out Brevard as the game wore on and the fourth quarter belonged to the Rams as they secured the win with two TDs.

Stars

Reidsville — Quarterback Kyle Pinnix was 15-of-21 for 195 yards passing. Running back Lionel Long rushed for 124 yards on 19 carries and scored a touchdown. Long has 1,342 yards and averages 8.9 yards per rush.

Brevard — Quarterback Baxter Swicegood and tailback Isaiah Rathbone proved tough on the run and kept the chains moving during stretches, but Reidsville’s defense kept them out of the end zone for most of the night. Brevard had 130 yards rushing and 92 passing.

The big play

Tied at 7-7 with just 25 seconds left to play in the half, Pinnix threw a perfect strike on a sideline route to Breon Pass, who made an equally impressive clutch reception to put the Rams in field-goal range. Four plays later, Anthony Franson split the upright’s for a 24-yard field goal to give the Rams a 10-7 lead as time expired in the second quarter.

Three things we learned

1. The Reidsville defense collectively deserved the MVP award. After giving up a late first-quarter touchdown on a nine- play 94 yard drive, the Rams didn’t allow another score the rest of the night.

2. Pinnix is closing in on a single-season Reidsville passing record. The junior has thrown for 42 touchdowns this season and is three behind Kendon Doe's total from 2003. Pinnix has passed for 2,885 yards this season.

3. Thanksgiving weekend has been pretty good to the Rams over the years. Reidsville has made 21 third-round appearances and is 15-6 on the holiday weekend.

What they’re saying

“Like I said last week, it’s a great time to be playing. It’s food, fun and football and then getting to play a quality opponent like Brevard the day after Thanksgiving is fun. We had to grit it out and find a way to win. Credit our guys. They found a way to get it done. ... I think we found a couple of things that we could run against them and we just kept going back to it, and I think that helped us.” — Jimmy Teague, Reidsville coach

“That’s a really good football team and I thought we gave them everything we had, but we just couldn’t get any more points on the board after the first-quarter score. Credit their guys, because they played tough, but I’m proud of our guys, too.” — Craig Pritchett, Brevard coach

“At the beginning of the game we had a whole lot of adrenaline going on. We had some mistakes happen and we just had to calm down and let the game come to us, and that’s really when we started hitting our routes.” — Kyle Pinnix, Reidsville quarterback

Records

Brevard: 11-3.

Reidsville: 13-1.

Up next

Brevard: Season is over.

Reidsville: West Stokes (11-3) in the 2-A West Regional final, Dec. 6.

Scoring summary

Reidsville       0  10   0   14   –   24

Brevard           7    0   0     0   –     7

B – Isaiah Rathbone 1 run (Parker Grant kick), 1st, 0:47

R – Lionel Long 20 run (Anthony Franson kick), 2nd, 2:46

R – FG Franson 24, 2nd, 0:00

R – Stevian Harrison 11 run (Franson kick), 4th, 7:19

R – Jiheem Hooper 19 pass from Kyle Pinnix (Franson kick), 4th, 4:08

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