HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- A.D. Cunningham said he and his South Charleston teammates got a slice of coach Donnie Mays' biography at halftime of their 43-30 win over host Spring Valley on Friday night.
"He said when he was a kid he lived on a farm, and there was a local bully who was trying to take his football," Cunningham said. "Coach wouldn't give it to him, and the guy said he was going to beat him up.
"Coach said he hit him first, and that ended it. That's what we had to do tonight."
The Black Eagles came up with a critical defensive stop on the Timberwolves' opening drive of the second half that changed the tone of the game, paving the way for what turned into a blowout before Spring Valley tacked on a late score with 12 seconds left in the game.
Trailing 22-15 at halftime, SC (2-1) opened the third quarter by driving 65 yards in just more than 4 minutes to take the lead on a 3-yard touchdown run by sophomore quarterback Kentre Grier. That set the table for what proved to be the game's turning point.
The teams had traded touchdowns -- there was only one punt in the game and just two turnovers -- throughout the first half, with Spring Valley (1-2) dominating time of possession 18:17 to 5:43 and rolling up 225 rushing yards.
"We challenged them at halftime," Mays said. "They actually came out and responded, too. We told them not to be the guy who gets hit. They had to come out and hit somebody, and wow, they really did."
After Spring Valley punted, the Timberwolves were assessed a 15-yard personal-foul penalty that gave the ball to SC at the T'wolves' 47. A fourth-and-6 run by Cunningham went for 7 yards to keep the drive going, and a 25-yard run by Grier set up the quarterback's 1-yard score that put SC in command.