Northside mauled by Cougars

Published 12:54 am Saturday, October 13, 2018


For the Daily News

ROBERSONVILLE — The Northside Panthers came into Robersonville tonight hoping to spoil the South Creek Cougars’ homecoming game, but instead were treated to the wrong end of a 54-8 blowout loss, due in large part the senior trio for South Creek.

Cougars’ Jaylen Short, Zikeyai Cherry and Jahkene Clark combined for seven out of the eight touchdowns for South Creek (4-3, 1-2 1A Coastal Plains Conference). Every scoring play they were involved in was highlight-worthy material. They broke multiple tackles, ran past entire defenses and put on a series of moves and fakes to send the crowd into a frenzy all night. According to Northside (3-5, 0-3 1A CPC) head coach Keith Boyd, the Panthers didn’t come out with the intensity to match what the Cougars were doing.

“We got some big kids, some strong kids and some kids that can run, but until we learn to get off of busses or come out of the locker room and play with intensity and use what we have, we’re going to continue to look at that score,” Boyd said. “We just don’t find a way to amp it up and play with any intensity, and it’s meaning a whole lot more to other people than it is to us right now.”

Clark scored the first points of the game off of an easy touchdown run up the middle from the 2 to give South Creek the early lead. Northside threatened to score later in the first quarter after a 50-plus yard interception return into Cougar territory. But the Panthers turned it over on downs, leading to an explosive long touchdown run from Cherry, as he cut to his right and sped past the Northside defense.

After another a fumble was recovered by the Cougars on the ensuing drive, Cherry nearly ran the same exact play for another touchdown to extend South Creek’s lead after the first period. Clark put on the finishing touches in the first half by dragging multiple defenders into the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown, making it a 27-0 lead at halftime for South Creek.

After the Cougar’s homecoming celebration at halftime, the second half turned into the Jaylen Short show. After the Panthers turned the ball over on a fumble on the first play of the half, Short ran it up the middle for an easy eight-yard touchdown to extend lead to 34-0.

The Panther’s responded on the next play with their only points of the game, when James Gorham split through the teeth of the defense for a 60-yard touchdown run, blowing past multiple defenders for eight points after the two-point conversion. But Short turned it up another notch and took the following kickoff all the way to the end zone for 88 yards, making three Panther defenders miss by putting on a couple of fakes and turning to his left for the touchdown. South Creek’s Demorian Smith followed it up with a 13-yard running touchdown, and Short put the icing on the cake with a 32-yard running touchdown to make it 54-8.

According to Boyd, the Panthers were unable to keep up with the Cougars because they didn’t execute the simple fundamental plays throughout the game, which echoes what their issues have been on field during the season.

“From scrimmage to now, we still haven’t fixed the assignment football stuff we’re supposed to take care of,” Boyd said. “ Same thing on offense, we’re not sustaining blocks or getting our heads across people. It’s the fundamental simple stuff you work on in summer time and we have yet to understand where we are suppose to be, how we are suppose to do it and how we are suppose to get there.”

Northside will look to snap its five-game losing streak when it travels to the heart of Tarboro to take on the undefeated Vikings (8-0, 3-0 1AA CPC) for their homecoming week.