Roncalli overcame nine penalties, a blocked punt, a blocked extra-point attempt and a pair of failed two-point conversions Friday night to defeat host Southport 27-13 in the season-opener for both teams.
Senior running back David Holtkamp rushed 22 times for 116 yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead the Rebels, who snapped a two-game losing streak against the Cardinals.
A quarterback sneak that turned into a 65-yard touchdown run for Roncalli quarterback Cam Smock with 3:48 left in the game secured the victory.
In all, Smock completed three of nine pass attempts for 26 yards and carried the ball eight times for 54 yards.
Southport held a 13-12 advantage after a one-yard touchdown run by junior Christian Perry with 1:20 left in the third quarter, but the Cardinals failed to score again.
Perry rushed 15 times for 56 yards, but Southport senior quarterback Robert Webb led the team in rushing with eight carries for 70 yards.
Through the air, Webb completed eight of 21 pass attempts for 111 yards.
Despite opening the game with a 47-yard pass completion from Webb to senior wide receiver David Boyer, the Cardinals failed to score during their first possession of the game and turned the ball over to Roncalli on downs.
The Rebels’ first offensive play from scrimmage, a long run by Holtkamp, initially ended deep in Southport territory but was negated due to a block-in-the-back penalty.
Southport got the ball back after recording back-to-back quarterback sacks, but Roncalli regained possession when senior defensive back Michael Clements snagged a one-handed interception and returned it to the Cardinals’ 12-yard-line. One play later, Holtkamp scored a rushing touchdown for the Rebels, but the team’s extra point attempt was blocked.