Published 12:33 pm Saturday, November 17, 2007
By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
WILLIAMSTON — Roanoke running back Savion Hudson leaped over his left tackle at the Williamston 1-yard line and landed with a season saving TD to give the Redskins a 26-20 overtime victory over Williamston in the second round of the NCHSAA 1-A playoffs.
The win exacts revenge on the Tigers after Williamston had won two weeks earlier in Robersonville by the exact same score to take the Atlantic Conference championship on the final game of the regular season.
It was only fitting that Hudson got the game winning TD, as his third quarter interception not only took the ball away from the second seeded Tigers but stole their momentum as well.
Down 20-12, the seventh seeded Redskins had been sputtering on offense for a majority of the game, as Williamston looked to stick the dagger in the hearts of its rivals.
The Tigers had blocked a punt at the Redskins’ 29, and after Eric Smith returned it to the 3-yard line, the Tigers were in position to take a commanding lead.
A stanch Redskins’ goal line defense combined with two Williamston penalties forced the Tigers into a fourth and goal from the 25.
With the Tigers in an obvious passing situation, Williamston quarterback Jarrett Coffield forced a pass down the left side of the field that was picked off by Hudson who returned all the way back to the Tigers’ 32-yard line.
The Redskins, who deviated from the normal wing offense by putting tackle Turbian Jones in the backfield had managed only 11 rushing yards on 13 carries after the first half, but were able to string together a drive on the back of LaKendrick Baker.
After five straight Baker carries, the Redskins found themselves a facing fourth-and-four situation and put the game in the hands of Higgs.
Their faith in Higgs was rewarded as he was able to dodge heavy pressure, and as he rolled to his right he delivered a perfect strike to a wide open Kenneth Hyman in the back of he end zone to make it a 20-18 game.
Higgs came up big on the two point conversation as well, as he rolled to his left and scampered into the end zone for the tie.
Paschal said the Hudson interception was the pivotal play of the game.
Williamston coach Asim McGill, whose team failed to cash in on two key red zone possessions in the second half, said his team didn’t make the most of its opportunities.
The Tigers may have fared better if they had the services of running back Cedric Moody, but one of the team’s top play-makers was suspend for one game after he was flagged for excessive celebration during the Tigers win over Weldon last Friday.
Moody’s teammate Emery Griggs did a solid job as the team’s primary ball carrier, as he tallied two touchdowns.
Williamston was the first team to strike as it scored on its opening drive. Griggs got the Tigers going when his 30-yard run brought the them to the Redskins’ 38, when Coffield hooked up with Kareem Bell down the left sideline to take a 6-0 lead.
Bell made an outstanding coach as he fought off a defensive back to make the grab.
Roanoke was able to even the score later in the first when O’Darrin Jenkins recovered the ball after a botched Williamston handoff and took it 42 yards for a touchdown.
Jenkins would later in the second quarter on a 38-yard pass from Higgs to put his team up 12-6.
The Williamston loss puts an end to a rather stellar season for the Tigers, who finished at 9-4.
The Redskins will look to ride their momentum into the third round of the playoffs as they will No. 11 Perquimans Friday night.
6 First Downs 5
37-112 Rushes-Yards 30-110
107 Passing Yards 91
4-13-2 Pass-Comp-Int 3-7-1
3-27 Punting 4-36
3 Fumbles-Lost 3-1
6-45 Penalties 7-40
Roanoke 6 6 8 0 6 — 26
Williamston 6 8 6 0 0 — 20
W — Kareem Bell 36 pass from Jarrett Coffield (kick failed), 10:11, 1st.
R — O’Darrin Jenkins 42 fumble recovery (two points failed) 4:55, 1st.
R — Jenkins 38 pass from Alonza Higgs (two points failed), 10:03 2nd.
W — Emery Griggs 21 run (Eric Smith two points(, 7:04, 2nd.
W — Griggs 7 run (kick failed), 9:50 3rd.
R — Hyman 15 pass from Higgs (Higgs two points) 2:02, 3rd.
R — Savion Hudson 1 run, OT.
Plymouth pounds its way to third round
By RONNIE WOODWARD
PLYMOUTH — Plymouth head coach Robert Cody wanted his team to play well early, and his players didn’t disappoint him Friday night.
The Vikings, who are the No. 1 seed in the NCHSAA Class 1-A East bracket, dominated North Edgecombe in the opening half en route to a 46-0 blowout in the second round of the playoffs.
Plymouth scored on its first four possessions, while North Edgecombe turned the ball over on three of its first four.
Cody said earlier in the week that jumping out to an early lead would be huge for Plymouth (13-0), and he was right.
North Edgecombe (6-7), which uses a run-dominated wishbone offense, fumbled the ball on each of its first two possessions. This forced the Warriors, who were seeded ninth in the East, to switch to the shotgun and try to pass the ball more, which is something they are not accustomed to doing.
The Vikings forced four turnovers, while not committing any of their own.
Senior running back Tobias Clagon took advantage of the opportunities that the Vikings’ defense gave him.
Clagon ran for 117 yards on only 11 carries; 104 yards and both of his touchdowns came in the first half.
In the first half, Plymouth ran the ball 23 times for 228 yard and four touchdowns, taking a commanding 30-0 lead into the locker room at the half.
Andre Mitchell also ran well behind the effective Plymouth offensive line as he scored on an 18-yard touchdown in the first half and found running room all night. Quarterback Dasheen Perry also added two scores to the dominating Plymouth rushing attack.
Plymouth outrushed North Edgecombe by 247 yards as the Warriors only accumulated 93 yards on the ground.
The top-seeded Vikings, who have yet to allow a point in the playoffs, will host No. 4 seed Jones Senior (9-4), a 25-0 winner over Northampton-East, next Friday night in the eastern quarterfinals.
Plymouth will be looking for some revenge as Jones Senior knocked the Vikings out of the playoffs last year.
North Edgecombe Plymouth
9 First Downs 14
32-93 Rushes-Yards 37-340
0 Passing Yards 15
7-0-1 Pass-Comp-Int 5-1-0
2-65 Punting 1-34
4-3 Fumbles-Lost 1-0
2-20 Penalties 5-55
N. Edgecombe 0 0 0 0 — 0
Plymouth 14 16 16 0 — 46
P- Tobias Clagon 13 run (failed run conversion), 8:07, 1st
P- Andre Mitchell 18 run (successful run conversion), 3:00, 1st
P- Dasheen Perry 15 run (successful run conversion), 9:06, 2nd
P- Clagon 66 run (6:35, 2nd)
P- Dwayne Brooks 4 run (successful run conversion), 9:01, 3rd
P- Perry 16 run (successful pass conversion), 8:04, 3rd