Loss of Southern Student Overshadows South County Rivalry in Friday Night Football
The South River vs. Southern High annual football game took on a different tone Friday night, when both schools came together to raise money for the Wallace family of Shady Side. A week ago, Marvin “Buddy” Wallace, Jr., 14, died when the car his mother was driving hit a tree on Patuxent River Road in Davidsonville. The funds that were raised will help to cover funeral and burial expenses.
Michael Edmonds, the local owner of Edgewater’s Chick fil-A franchise said that for the past four years, they have used the game and South County rivalry to raise money for the schools in a friendly competition. The school with the most sales gets $1000. The runner-up gets $500. They added a Wednesday-before milkshake sell-off which gives the schools an opportunity to earn an additional $250.
Edmonds said that a Southern teacher came to Chick fil-A a week before the game and asked if it would be OK if the money could be donated directly to the Wallace family. Edmonds said that he readily agreed.
“Then word got to someone over at South River, and they asked if they could donate their money too,” Edmonds said.
So the whole $1500 was made available to the Wallace family. With the milkshake money, Edmonds was able to present a check for $1750 at half time.
Southern High had won the $1,000 and the $250 milkshake cash.
However, the winner of the Chick fil-A prize money has not been the winner of the game for the past two years. At half-time when the check was presented, the score was 15 to 17, foreshadowing the eventual win by South River.
More after the photos.
Aside from the Chick fil-A check, the family will pick up an additional $700 or more from freshman Brook Burnett. A friend of Wallace, she wanted to do something to help. She made ribbons and sold red rubber bracelets. She said that Mrs. Wallace had stopped by the booth.
“She thanked me for what I’m doing. She said that they might be able to do a scholarship with the money that people have helped to raise,” Burnett said.
Back to the game.
South River quarterback Connor Cox (#3) and running back Lavon Chaney (#21) had a great night, with passes landing right where they were meant to go.
Meanwhile the Bulldogs gave up a couple of possessions that were critical to the momentum building on the field. For example, in the first minute of the third quarter, a Southern fumble gave the Seahawks the ball in the first three seconds after halftime. On the next play, Cox handed the ball to Chaney who ducked, hopped, ran and crashed his way through the ‘Dawg defense. In no time Chaney was in the end zone, bringing the score to 15-35.
On the kickoff return, the ball was picked up, then fumbled by Southern. After a pileup, the referees gave South River possession. The Southern side of the stadium went wild. A few seconds later, an illegal helmet hit by a Bulldog gave South River ten yards. The Bulldogs needed a break.
They got one.
Cornerback DeJuan Neal (#25) caught an interception and ran the ball all the way down the field. The offense took over and made the two-point conversion. The score sat at 23 to 35.
There were a few opportunities at the end of the game for Southern to break away. A series of running plays got their quarterback sacked three plays in a row, pushing them further and further away from not only goal, but also a first down. Meanwhile each South River play got them closer. In the fourth quarter, South River got two more touchdowns, moving the score to 49 to 23. In the last two minutes, when Southern finally got the ball back, there simply wasn’t enough time to change the outcome.
In the end, there was no ceremony for the South County Championship trophy. A few players wandered over to the Southern Side and picked it up out of a box. They held it up and gave out a cheer. There was a solemness to the victory. This was a game in honor of freshman Marvin Wallace. Even the cheerleaders tempered their cheers for the team as the boys made their way to the parking lot. One of the cheerleaders said that winning wasn’t the point of the evening. It was more about helping a family in the community when they needed it.
Services for the Shady Side teen will take place Saturday at 9 a.m. at Franklin United Methodist Church in Churchton.