Panthers lose nail-bitter, Southside stumbles

Published 8:34 pm Tuesday, September 2, 2008

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
YEATESVILLE — Labor Day took on a whole new meaning Monday in Yeatesville, as North Duplin had to work extra hard to come away with a 32-31 victory over the Panthers.
The 2007 NCHSAA 1-A state runners up fought back from a 16-0 first quarter deficit to improve to 2-0, and hand Northside its first defeat of the year.
The Panthers (1-1) had two opportunities to keep their record perfect, but failed to convert on two field goal attempts with under 30 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
After the Rebels’ Akeem Cox scored on a two-yard plunge that put North Duplin up 32-31, Northside returned the ball to the Rebels’ 40-yard line and went to work with a little over two minutes left in the game.
Furious running by Daykuan Mackey and Darrius Murray brought Northside down to the Rebels’ 12-yard line with a fresh set of downs and little time remaining on the clock.
Murray, Northside’s sophomore quarterback took the snap from the shotgun position and scrambled for what appeared to be the game-winning touchdown, only to see it negated by a holding penalty.
Boyd tried once again to run Murray, but he was stopped at the 14-yard line.
After calling a timeout, Northside running back TaMichael Tonge got the call, but was stuffed for no gain.
After calling his last timeout with 32.7 left to play, Boyd opted to go for a field goal attempt on third down from the 14-yard line.
Cecilio Cota trotted out for the 31-yard attempt, but never got a chance to put his boot on the ball as the Panthers botched the snap.
Northside’s holder made a heads up play and recovered the ball and immediately ran out of bounds to stop the clock.
Now, Cota faced a 33-yard field goal attempt on fourth down, but once again never got his cleat to the pigskin.
The Panthers botched the snap again, and turned the game and the ball over to North Duplin.
Execution killed the Panthers at the end of the game, but it was the key to a fast start and early lead at the beginning of the contest.
North Duplin received the ball first, and when sophomore quarterback Marcus Kornegay fumbled on a hand off to backup freshman tailback Devin Oliver, the Panthers defense was all over it.
Kornegay got the starting nod after junior quarterback Alan Schilling tore his ACL during last week’s battle with Southside and finished the game 14-25 for 103 yards and a TD pass.
After recovering the fumble at the Rebels’ 22, Northside failed to get past the 18 and turned the ball over on downs.
However, North Duplin fumbled again and the Panthers were back in business
Northside capitalized on its great field position and eventually scored on a Murray 30-yard pass to Jared Adams.
The duo would hook up again later in the first quarter, as the Panthers were able to block a North Duplin punt and recover it on the Rebels’ 20.
Four plays later, Murray found Adams for a 15-yard score.
Murray had a solid game in the air and on the ground. The sophomore’s ability to run the option, along with strong running by Mackey and Tonge helped the Panthers tally 274 rushing yards on 36 attempts.
Each running back had their moments, but Tonge looked particularly impressive as he was able to break free on an inside counter play to rip off a 60-yard TD run that put the Panthers up 24-12 in the third quarter.
The Rebels countered with a strong ground game as well. After sitting out the first quarter for what North Duplin head coach Hugh Martin said was a bad back, Rebels’ star running back Akeem Cox entered the game in the second quarter and had a huge impact.
The Rebels rushed for -3 yards in the first quarter and were down 16-0. However, they went into halftime with 125 rushing yards and cut the deficit to 16-12.
Cox finished the day with 186 rushing yards and two TDs in three quarters of play. Adams’ two scores led Northside.
The Panthers won’t have too much time to dwell on their loss, as they will travel to Washington to battle the Pam Pack this Friday.
North Duplin Northside
17 First Downs 6
35-232 Rushes-Yards 36-224
103 Passing Yards 45
14-25-1 Pass-Comp-Int 2-5
2-26 Punting 4-34
5-3 Fumbles-Lost 4-1
8-65 Penalties 11-105
North Duplin 0 12 7 13 — 32
Northside 16 0 8 7 — 31
Scoring Summary
NS — Darrius Murray 30 pass to Jared Adams (Murray two points), 8:00, 1st.
NS — Murray 15 pass to Adams (Murray two points), 2:53, 1st.
ND — Marcus Kornegay 8 pass to Quentin Graham (two points failed), 9:43, 2nd.
ND — Akeem Cox 14 run (two points failed), 2:23, 2nd.
NS — TaMichael Tonge 60 run (Isaiah McCullor two points), 2:07, 3rd.
ND — Kornegay 7 run (two points failed), 7:56, 4th.
NS — Murray 22 run (Cecilio Cota kick failed), 7:36, 4th.
ND — Cox 2 run (Armando Prudencio kick), 2:10, 4th.
Seahawks’ eight lost fumbles ties 22-year old state record
By STEVE FRANKLIN, Sports Writer
CHOCOWINITY — Southside’s offense was dominant when they held onto the ball against Rosewood on Monday evening.
There was just one problem: they rarely held onto the ball.
The Seahawks put the pigskin on the ground 17 times and lost a state record tying eight fumbles as they fell to the Eagles, 20-8.
The eight lost fumbles ties the futile mark set by Bunker Hill in a loss to Maiden in 1986.
The fumbling woes were too much for Southside to overcome and ultimately led to the Seahawks losing for 13th consecutive game, a run that dates back to November of 2006.
The Seahawks woes started on their opening drive and continued throughout the contest. After marching 60 yards down field to the Eagles’ 1-yard line, Southside was called for a false start penalty, moving the ball back to the 6. On the very next snap, quarterback Kevin Sparks dropped the snap from center Geoffrey Wesson and Rosewood pounced on the ball.
It was a sign of things to come, as the Seahawks fumbled 11 times during the quarterback-center exchange.
The Eagles didn’t take advantage of Southside’s miscues until late in the first half. With just under four minutes left in the second quarter, Rosewood found the end zone on a 49-yard pass from Brandon Ash to Holmes.
Then just before the half, the As-to-Holmes connection hooked up again, this time from 16 yards out to give Rosewood a 12-0 halftime lead.
Holmes accounted for every yard of the Eagles’ total offense in the first half, rushing for 105 yards and catching two balls for 65 yards.
In the second half, the Southside’s defense did its best to keep it close, limiting Rosewood to just 55 yards of total offense.
But late in the third quarter, the offense fumbled the ball away on the snap, and set the Eagles up deep inside Seahawks’ territory. Two plays later, Ash made Southside pay as he tossed his third touchdown pass of the game, connecting with Joseph Willis on a 20-yard pass to put Rosewood ahead 20-0.
Despite their troubles, the Southside offense kept battling. In the fourth quarter, it finally found pay dirt.
After a 32-yard punt return by Derick Cannon to set the Seahawks up in Eagles territory, Sparks helped engineer a nine-play, 39-yard drive. After powerful runs by Marcus O’Neal, Lonnie Williams and cannon to get the ball into the red zone, the Seahawks caught their first break. On 4th-and-12 from the 17-yard line, Sparks threw an incomplete pass, but was roughed up on the play a Rosewood defender. One play later, Sparks darted around the edge for an 8-yard touchdown run.
The Seahawks (0-2) out rushed the Eagles 187 yards to 140 yards. Dash Spruill led Southside with 72 yards on nine carries, while Holmes carried 30 times for 118 yards to lead Rosewood.
Rosewood Southside
11 First Downs 14
43-140 Rushes-Yards 38-187
85 Passing Yards 28
3-5-0 Pass-Comp-Int 2-8-0
7-26.3 Punting 3-23
6-1 Fumbles-Lost 17-8
5-29 Penalties 6-45
Rosewood 0 12 8 0 — 20
Southside 0 0 0 8 — 8
Scoring Summary
R — Joshua Holmes 49 pass from Brandon Ash (2 pt. failed), 2:40, 2nd.
R — Holmes 16 pass from Ash (2 pt. failed), :05, 2nd.
R — Joseph Willis 20 pass from Ash (Holmes run), 7:43, 3rd.
S — Kevin Sparks 8 run (Marcus O’Neal run), 7:24, 4th