Sports Shorts for September

Hopewell High’s Sifford sets school passing record

HUNTERSVILLE – Hopewell High quarterback Tijuan Sifford passed for a school-record 472 yards and five touchdowns in a 61-59 loss at East Lincoln on Aug. 24.

Sifford, a senior, completed 21 of 33 passes. He had three scoring passes to Dominique Heath, covering 34, 41 and 82 yards, a 27-yard touchdown to Jonquez Williams and a 35-yarder to Brandon Holst.

Hopewell (0-2) trailed 41-17 at halftime, but scored 42 second-half points to close the gap. Williams returned the second-half kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown. After East Lincoln responded with a touchdown to go ahead 48-23, Hopewell scored two quick touchdowns to cut the lead to 48-38.

“All I can ask my boys to do is fight, and that’s what they did,” Hopewell coach David Johnson said. “I’m so proud of them. I know it hurts in their bellies, but you know what? You can build on something like this. … We’re going to be a team to reckon with. It’s just a matter of time.”

Heath, a junior, also ran for two touchdowns to complete his five-touchdown game.

Rough start for East Gaston football

MOUNT HOLLY – East Gaston High was routed in its first two football games this season, including being the opponent when North Gaston ended its 28-game losing streak on Aug. 24.

East Gaston lost 35-6 to North Gaston, after falling 48-14 to Gastonia Huss in the opener Aug. 17.

Female kicker wins game for West Meck

CHARLOTTE – Juliana Costantini, a kicker for West Mecklenburg High’s football team, booted a 31-yard field goal with 11 seconds left to give the Hawks a 23-21 victory against rival West Charlotte on Aug. 24.

It was the first field goal attempt for Costantini, a soccer and rugby player who had made two extra-point kicks in the game. Her third extra-point attempt was blocked.

After West Charlotte went ahead 21-20 with two minutes left,  West Mecklenburg (1-1) drove to the West Charlotte 5-yard line. But a hold penalty pushed the Hawks back, and on fourth down, coach Jeff Caldwell sent in Costantini to kick.

It gave West Mecklenburg its first win in the series since 1987.

Costantini began as the Hawks’ junior-varsity kicker last season. She spent the final month of the season on the varsity squad.

Hopewell soccer starts well

HUNTERSVILLE – The Hopewell High boys’ soccer team beat Berry 3-1 on Aug. 27 to improve to 2-1-1.
The Titans opened the season with a 4-1 victory against Olympic High, tied Providence 2-2 and lost 2-0 to Porter Ridge.

Hopewell guard signs with Chowan

HUNTERSVILLE  – T’Shea Glenn, a point guard who helped Hopewell High win the I-MECK 4A conference girls basketball championship last winter, signed with Chowan University in Murfreesboro.

Glenn, 5-foot-5, graduated last spring. As a senior, she averaged six points and 2.4 steals, and was named Hopewell’s defensive player of the year.

– Compiled by Cliff Mehrtens

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