South's defense was given many opportunities to give up or to show up Thursday night against East.
East had five possesions starting on South's side of the field and three times East drove inside South's 20-yard line. The Titans' defense was up to the challenge, holding East to zero points on all five drives.
That defensive effort led the Titans to their first win against East in six years, a 13-7 victory at South.
"We talk about never quiting, staying together and that's what we do," South coach Cory Brack said. "We preach that every day, we've got to stay together. If we have one guy quit we are in trouble. I'm so excited for the kids."
After a scoreless first half, South took all the momentum on their first drive in the third quarter as quarterback Zack Villarreal led a seven-play, 81-yard drive. Villarreal connected with Cory Richardson on a 50-yard pass to set up Jamiuah Smallwood's 2-yard touchdown run.
Erick Heiman's fumble on East's next possession set up South's five-minute drive that ended in Villarreal's 1-yard touchdown run and South led 13-0.
In the fourth quarter, with Villarreal out of the game and taken to the hospital with what Brack said was a likely concussion, East fought back.
After a South punt, Heiman connected with Jameal Farrison on a 49-yard touchdown pass with 7:53 left to pull within 13-7.
East got the ball back with seven minutes to go and again drove the ball inside South's 20. East came up empty though as Heiman threw too far to Justin Johnson on fourth down.
"It's a lot of heart, they've got to look inside theirselves and find their inner strength to see what they can do," Brack said. "They knew what was at stake tonight."
East (1-3, 1-2) 0 0 0 7 — 7 South (2-2), 2-20 0 13 0 — 13
S—Smallwood 2 run (kick failed)
S—Villarreal 1 run (Clark kick)
E—Farrison 49 pass from Heiman (Galarza kick)
Rushing—East, Heiman 11-15, Reed 9-42, Graham 8-15, Farrison 1-(-8). South, Kelly 18-38, Villarreal 12-8, Lassley 5-18, Smallwood 4-6, Hickey 3-(-7), Brandon 2-4.
Passing—East, Heiman 9-23-140-2. South, Villarreal 2-6-57-1, Hickey 0-4-0-1.
Receiving—East, Johnson 5-59, Farrison 3-67, Burns-Guidry 1-14. South, Richardson 1-50, Kelly 1-7.