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Reed piles up 328 yards, 4 TDs in South's win at Gate City

By JOHNNY WILSON, Sports Correspondent • Sep 14, 2019 at 1:45 AM

GATE CITY — A couple flashes of lightning caused a 40-minute delay late in the first quarter of Friday night’s football game at Legion Field, but by then Julian Reed and Sullivan South were already thundering to a victory.

Reed dazzled from the get-go, breaking the first play from scrimmage for a 68-yard touchdown and scoring three more times, comfortably leading the Rebels to a 42-12 interstate defeat of homestanding Gate City.

A slick 5-foot-9, 165-pound running back with serious speed, Reed found nice running lanes and turned on his jets, gaining a career-high 328 yards on 24 carries to go along with his four touchdowns against the Blue Devils.

Just two weeks ago, Reed ran for 267 yards against Cherokee.

“That’s the main factor, my line,” said Reed, a senior who missed most of last week’s game against Grainger with an injured knee, finishing that one with just 30 yards rushing. “I’ve run behind those guys since the seventh or eighth grade and I love those guys. I really respect them.”

The win was South’s 10th in 11 all-time meetings with Gate City.

STRIKING EARLY

The Rebels (2-2) led 7-6 when Reed broke free for a 58-yard TD run, which was followed by South quarterback Ethan Bergeron scoring on a 3-yard keeper to make it a 21-6 game with 4:05 left in the first quarter.

A sneaky interception by South defensive back Damien McClain set the Rebels up at the Gate City 8-yard line, leading to Bergeron’s score.

Two minutes later, a nearby electric storm sent both teams to the locker room.

In the second quarter, Reed ripped off a quick 49-yard scoring run, pushing the Rebels to a 28-6 advantage at halftime. He had 262 first-half yards.

Reed added a 21-yard TD jaunt on the first play of the fourth period, bouncing back from a scary and unceremonious late hit out of bounds.

“The offensive line really got off the football tonight and Reed made some really great cuts,” South coach Justin Hilton said. “It was a real special night for him and he was really something to watch out there.”

South also got a second-half touchdown run from McClain, covering 6 yards and closing the scoring for the evening.

TURNOVERS HURT DEVILS

The Blue Devils (2-1) of first-year coach Jeremy Houseright perhaps could have stayed in the game had they not turned the ball over four times.

As it was, Levi Rhoton scored on a 3-yard run in the first quarter for Gate City, which got a 5-yard TD run in the fourth period and 111 total yards rushing from powerful 6-foot, 255-pound senior running back Michael Calhoun.

“Give South credit because they took it to us pretty good,” Houseright said. “The kids played hard, but I’ve got to do a better job of getting us ready to play. That’s on me.”

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