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Pollack guides Sullivan South past Grainger

Pat Kenney • Aug 31, 2018 at 11:46 PM

KINGSPORT — Sullivan South quarterback Luke Pollack ran for three touchdowns and passed for two more as the Rebels rallied to beat visiting Grainger 34-26 in the Region 1-4A football opener for both teams on Friday night.

Pollack scored on runs of 9, 57 and 15 yards. He tossed a 34-yard scoring strike to Austin Monds and unleashed a 19-yard TD pass to Gavin Parker.

“I wouldn’t trade Luke for anyone,” said South coach Justin Hilton. “He made big plays out there tonight.”

South (2-1, 1-0) broke out on top on Pollack’s TD pass to Monds in the first quarter.

The Grizzlies (1-1, 0-1) responded with back-to-back second-quarter touchdowns, taking a brief 12-7 lead.

Pollack put the Rebs back on top 13-12 on his 9-yard scamper with 36 seconds left in the first half.

South took the second-half kickoff and Pollack put the Rebs up 20-12 when he raced 57 yards for a touchdown.

“I saw a crease, made a couple of guys miss then picked up a couple of blocks and just made it into the end zone,” said Pollack.

Grainger quarterback Preston Owens narrowed the score to 20-18 on a 2-yard run before South posted two straight scores to up the advantage to 34-18 midway through the fourth quarter.

Owens electrified the Grizzlies faithful on a 49-yard TD run with 5:26 to go in the game, bringing the visitors within 34-26.

Grainger then recovered an on-side kick but turned the ball over on downs, allowing South to run out the clock.

“Grainger had a great game plan,” said Hilton. “They ground it out and just played old-time football.

“I was pleased with our line play tonight,” added Hilton. “We just need to clean up some mistakes and penalties and we could be a pretty good team.”

Running QBs

Pollack finished with 178 yards rushing on 21 carries while Owens ran the ball 26 times for 158 yards.

“South’s quarterback is dynamic,” said Grainger coach Chad Tate. “We just couldn’t keep it away from them enough and that cost us.”

Kicking game matters

South kicker Colby Light converted four of his five extra point attempts. Grainger didn’t use a place kicker and failed to score on four of its five two-point conversion attempts.

Next up

The Rebels will host Gate City next week in their annual border clash.

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