Southside squeaks out late win at North Duplin

Published 10:57 pm Monday, August 22, 2016

CALYPSO — Southside quarterback Marshall Medlock ran in a pair of touchdowns as the Seahawks squeaked out a 28-23 win at North Duplin on Monday evening. Medlock and company put together a scoring drive late in the fourth quarter to start off the season with a victory.

The hosting Rebels scored the go-ahead touchdown and punched in the two-point conversion to take a 23-20 lead with 4:04 to play. Southside was able to march down the field thanks to the work of running backs Joe Myers and Zikajah Crawford.

Medlock took to the air often in the final minutes so as to preserve the clock. He and Crawford connected for 15 yards to put the Seahawks in the red zone. Myers then hauled in a 9-yard pass for a fourth-and-eight conversion.

Medlock capped off the drive when he rolled out of the pocket and scampered eight yards along the right sideline to put the Seahawks on top with 14.9 seconds to play. Backup Grant Jensen relieved him and ran in for the two-point conversion.

“We dug, we clawed and we found a way to win,” Southside coach Jeff Carrow said. “It was an ugly ball game all around.”

After a scoreless opening period, North Duplin struck first when running back Kenny Sheppard ran 12 yards up the middle. The Seahawks answered quickly. Facing a fourth-and-1 at midfield, Myers took off to his right for a 24-yard gain. Crawford picked up another dozen yards to put Southside in the red zone, setting the table for Medlock’s first score — a 2-yard quarterback keeper.

The Rebels, who were set to receive to open the second half, threatened late in the first. A 29-yard run by Sheppard put them in the red zone, but a fumble right into the hands of Hunter Sparks kept them out of the end zone.

“It was absolutely huge,” Carrow said. “Time and time again, our defense, back to the playoffs last year, they carry the mentality of bend but don’t break. They make plays when it counts and they did tonight.”

Southside wouldn’t take a lead into the locker room, though. Leading 8-6 late in the second quarter, the Seahawks were assessed a facemask penalty in the end zone that awarded North Duplin a safety to tie the game at 8-8.

The Seahawks’ defense came out strong to start the second half. Two tackles for loss and a pair of penalties against the Rebels forced them three-and-out. Myers fed off that momentum when he exploded for a 55-yard touchdown run on the first play of the ensuing drive.

Southside added to its lead thanks to Ronald Dennis’ strength on the ground. He broke a handful of tackles to find the space for a 40-yard gain before punching in a 2-yard touchdown that put his side ahead, 20-8.

North Duplin marched down the field late in the third and capped off the drive with an 18-yard, fourth-down touchdown connection from Will Archer to Terrion Addison that cut the Seahawks’ lead to 20-15.

Southside returns to action for its home opener against Dixon on Friday. The Seahawks will face a quick turnaround while the Bulldogs will be playing for the first time this season.