BAILEY – Rain broke just before halftime Friday night, and lightning rolled in behind it during the break at Southern Nash High School.
After the first half the Firebirds played against Wilson Fike in the Big East Conference opener for both teams, there might have been a collective sigh of relieving disappointment as the Firebirds waited and hoped to retake the field.
Despite controlling the game on offense and defense, the Firebirds were tied with Wilson Fike, 21-21, after a mistake-filled first half when the game was postponed to 6 p.m. Monday.
“I just hate it for the people that came. I hate it for the kids,” Southern Nash coach Brian Foster said. “It’s the same for both teams.”
Lightning delayed the start of the second half, but as the first wave of storms appeared to pass over Bailey, Foster and a group of officials, which included Southern Nash athletics director Robbie Kennedy, Wilson Fike coach Tom Nelson and the game’s referee, it was decided that a second wave of storms with 40 mph winds would cause for too long of a delay.
Southern Nash (4-1) fumbled the opening kickoff, had a punt blocked and fumbled the ball deep in their own territory. All three plays eventually led to Wilson Fike (1-4) touchdowns. On the Golden Demons’ three scoring drives, they gained just 48 total yards.
“We looked terrible on special teams, and we can’t turn the ball over,” Foster said. “If we keep doing that, we aren’t going to be a good football team. We aren’t deep enough or talented enough to make those kind of mistakes. It’s uncalled for.”
Southern Nash fumbled the opening kickoff, which Wilson Fike turned into a quick touchdown.
The Firebirds pulled the same gaffe on the ensuing kickoff but thanks to an early whistle, they were able to keep the ball and drive for a tying score.
Southern Nash’s second possession ended in a blocked punt and an eventual Wilson Fike touchdown.
Late in the second quarter, Southern Nash committed back-to-back penalties – amounting for 29 yards – before a bad snap slipped through quarterback Deon Lavender’s hands.
Wilson Fike scored one play later.
Despite giving the Golden Demons’ multiple chances to score Southern Nash still out-gained Wilson Fike, 180-130, in the first half.
The Firebirds drove 74 yards on their first scoring drive and 75 yards on their second, which took only a 75-yard run by Taylor Finch.
After an interception by Rashid Campbell, Southern Nash scored its third touchdown on a reception by Corey Schulz.
Despite the up-and-down first half, Foster hopes the delay won’t affect his team negatively.
“It better not affect them at all,” Foster said. “They better be thankful that they have a chance to play.”