Purkett passes Plymouth past Northampton-West|By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer

Published 5:25 pm Saturday, September 12, 2009

By Staff
QB’s two TD passes spark Vikings’ victory
PLYMOUTH — It was a clash of styles Friday night at Foster Field as the double-wing Plymouth Vikings tried to impose their will on the Northampton-West Hurricanes, who tried to accomplish the same with their wishbone attack.
Each team tried to break the other’s back with a staunch running game, but in the end it was two passes that lead to the Vikings’ 39-28 win over the Hurricanes Friday night.
Behind a strong offensive line, running backs Dylan Watts, Elmer Cooper and Ronnel Blount took turns galloping through NHW’s defense to the tune of 300 yards on 37 attempts.
Plymouth, who upped their record to 3-1, ran the ball on nearly 95 percent of its plays, but when it went to the air it was effective. Senior quarterback Kevin Purkett threw two TD strikes, the first for 46 yards and the second for 43, both going to wide receiver Azaam Gross to help distance the Vikings from the Hurricanes (Tar-Roanoke, 2-2).
“He doesn’t pass much but when he does he throws the ball well,” Plymouth coach Robert Cody said. “That’s the biggest difference tonight. We make two good passes and it really helped us. I think if we had to grind it out the whole night we wouldn’t have won.”
Purkett, who grew an astounding six inches over the summer and now stands at roughly 6-4, said that his team’s execution allowed the two big plays to happen.
“The line blocked great and gave me a lot of time to throw and it got me feeling comfortable,” Purkett said. “Then Azaam just ran some great routes and I put it up for him.”
Purkett threw the ball only three times, but was 3-3 for 99 yards and two scores.
Every other snap went to the backs, who did their best to wear down a strong NHW defense.
The Hurricanes got on the board first as they pieced together a 70-yard TD drive on their first possession behind a running game that was very impressive.
NHW running backs Mathew Peebles and Marvin Rawles, who is 6-3, 230-pounds, pounded the ball down the Vikings throat early and often in the first drive, which ended with a Peebles 1-yard TD plunge.
The Vikings responded in the second quarter when Blount ripped off a 72-yard touchdown run, which accompanied with a Watts two-point conversion put the Vikings up 8-7.
Plymouth struck again right before the half ended when Purkett hit Gross for the first TD pass to take a 14-6 lead into halftime.
While the Vikings figured out how to put points on the board, the Hurricanes’ offense sputtered as Plymouth was finding ways to keep Peebles and Rawles in check.
After another solid defensive stand by Plymouth, it was Watts turn to score as he dashed into the end zone from eight yards out to take a 22-7 advantage with 6:48 left in the third.
Northampton-West broke its scoring drought with 13.5 second left in the third when Peebles rushed for his second score of the day on a 1-yard run.
The action heated up in the fourth as Purkett connected with Gross, who leaped over a defender to pull down his second score of the game from 43 yards out to go up 30-13.
The Hurricanes kept fighting and on the ensuing kickoff, Zach Broadnex made an electrifying 78-yard kickoff return that was greatly aided by a big block at the Vikings’ 10-yard line.
The quick score breathed life into NHW, but that optimism wouldn’t last long.
On the next possession, the Vikings rumbled down field and scored on a Watts 24-yard run to put the game out of reach.
The Hurricanes added one more score to make it look good, when quarterback Durwood Horton hooked up with wideout Broadnax for a 15-yard TD.
The Vikings have bye next week, but will be back in action the following week against Northside.
Northampton-West Plymouth
12 First Downs 13
39-148 Rushes-Yards 37-300
75 Passing Yards 99
8-11-x Pass-Comp-Int 3-3-x
3-36 Punting 1-40
1-0 Fumbles-Lost 3-1
3-30 Penalties 1-10
NHW 7 0 6 16 — 29
Plymouth 0 14 8 16 — 39
Scoring Summary
H — Mathew Peebles 1 run (James Johnson kick), 3:55, 1st.
P — Ronnel Blount 72 run (Dylan Watts two points), 11:44 2nd.
P — Azaam Gross 46 pass from Kevin Purkett (two points failed), 2:27, 2nd.
P — Dylan Watts 8 run (Elmer Cooper two points), 6:48, 3rd.
H — Peebles 1 run (two points failed), 13.5, 3rd.
P — Gross 43 pass from Purkett (Cooper two points), 9:07, 4th.
H — Zach Broadnax 78 kick return (Peebles two points), 8:53. 4th.
P — Watts 24 run (Purkett two points), 4:29, 4th.
H — Broadnax 15 pass from Durwood Horton (Marvin Rawles two points) :52, 4th.