Panthers take home Anchor, Tigers take conference
By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
CHOCOWINITY — For the first time since 2001, Northside topped Southside in the Anchor Bowl with the Panthers winning in convincing fashion 32-7.
While the Panthers were happy to beat their cross town rivals, taking home the Anchor was just the icing on the cake. Northside’s season finale win over the Seahawks also punched the Panthers’ post season ticket.
Northside (3-8, 2-5) coach Keith Boyd celebrated his first ever Anchor Bowl victory Friday night, but was more excited about his team’s postseason prospects.
The Panthers’ big win came on the back of a two big special teams plays. After a horrid first quarter in which both teams fumbled a combined seven times, points were at a premium.
Northside struck first in the second quarter when quarterback William Rushton scrambled from four yards out to put the Panthers up 6-0 midway through the second.
Refusing to go out without a fight, the Seahawks strung together a lengthy drive that ended when Chris Godley found Byron Jordan down the left side of the field for a 44-yard TD pass, which after a Hayden Huggins kick put the Seahawks up 7-6.
Jordan made a nice grab over a Northside defender for the score, and gave Southside its first lead of the season … But it would only last for 14 seconds.
On the ensuing kickoff the Panthers pulled a muddle huddle at the 20-yard-line, and just when it looked like one of the players was going to break right with the ball, he handed it off to D.J. Satterthwaite for a reverse. Satterthwaite sped down the left sideline 80 yards to recapture the lead 13-7.
While the kickoff return may have dampen the Seahawks’ spirits, what happen next was the backbreaker.
After failing on the two point conversion, Northside kicked the ball off to the Seahawks, who fumbled at the 19-yard-line. The ball was recovered by Northside’s Michael Chase, who ran it back for a touchdown.
The winless Seahawks (0-10, 0-7) saw their first lead of the year turn into a 20-7 deficit in exactly 31 seconds.
Boyd said he had worked on the muddle huddle during the week, and it paid off on Friday.
Southside coach David Hines said Friday night’s Anchor Bowl loss served as a microcosm of the season.
Hines said after the game that though the team’s winless season will serve as inspiration next year, and that his players can’t wait to suit up again next fall.
The Panthers owned the second half, and were able to rush the football effectively. Satterthwaite scored his second TD of the game on a 5-yard scamper in the third to put his team up 26-7.
Rushton capped off the scoring in the fourth when scored on another 4-yard TD run to end the game 32-7.
Boyd hopes the Panthers’ big win on Friday will give them momentum going into the playoffs.
10 First Downs 8
36-251 Rushes-Yards 27-95
57 Passing Yards 95
2-7 Pass-Comp-Int 4-15
1-48 Punting 3-33
9-3 Fumbles-Lost 7-3
6-35 Penalties 6-50
Northside 0 20 6 6 — 32
Southside 0 7 0 0 — 7
N — William Rushton 4 run (two points failed), 4:37, 2nd.
S — Byron Jordan 44 pass from Chris Godley (Hayden Huggins kick) 2:30, 2nd.
N — D.J. Satterthwaite 80 kickoff return (two points failed), 2:16, 2nd.
N — Michael Chase 19 fumble recovery (Rushton two points), 1:59, 2nd.
N — Satterthwaite five run (two points failed), 9:35, 3rd.
N — Rushton four run (two points failed), 2:56, 4th.
Williamston edges out rival Roanoke
By Ronnie Woolard, Staff Correspondent
ROBERSONVILLE — At some point, Williamston and Roanoke just couldn’t be tied any longer.
Williamston prevailed, 26-20 Friday night. The two teams who were tied atop the Atlantic conference ended regulation in a tie. It took overtime to sort this one out.
Sophomore Eric Smith scored on a 7-yard run on the Tigers’ second play in overtime to give Williamston its first conference championship since 2000.
The Tigers (8-3, 5-2) won the Four Rivers conference seven years ago, but this is the first Atlantic Conference title for Williamston.
After Roanoke (7-4, 4-3) built a 20-6 lead halfway through the second quarter, Williamston surged back by scoring the game’s final three touchdowns.
Smith started the Tigers’ comeback with a 50-yard touchdown grab to end the first half. He also scored the final touchdown in regulation with a 9-yard touchdown reception with :31 left to play.
After his score made it 20-18, Smith leaped and snatched the ball out of the air after it had been tipped by intended receiver, Emery Griggs, on the two-point conversion that sent the game into overtime.
McGill said that the comeback win and conference championship gives Williamston momentum for the playoffs, which start next week.
Williamston and Roanoke have both qualified for the state playoffs, the NCHSAA is scheduled to release the brackets this evening.
7 First Downs 5
22-138 Rushes-Yards 27-88
153 Passing Yards 158
23-9-0 Pass-Comp-Int 17-8-2
4-59 Punting 2-56
3-2 Fumbles-Lost 3-1
4-25 Penalties 5-35
Williamston 6 6 0 8 6 — 26
Roanoke 6 14 0 0 0 — 20
R- Aaron Baker 31 from Alonza Higgs (failed run conversion), 5:54, 1st
W-Eric Smith 27 from Jarret Coffield (PAT blocked), 4:01, 1st
R- Markel Daniels 28 fumble return (failed run conversion), 9:11, 2nd
R- Savion Hudson 1 run (pass conversion successful), 5:55, 2nd
W- Smith 50 from Coffield (PAT missed), 0:00, 2nd
W- Smith 9 from Coffield (pass conversion successful), 0:31, 4th
W- Smith 7 run (failed run conversion), OT