Top Performance: Pack defense comes up big in first win

Published 3:45 pm Monday, September 11, 2023

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All four county high school football teams were back in action Friday night after either a bye week or a weather cancellation.

New Washington High School coach Matt Taylor collected his first career victory as a head coach due in large part to his defense, who collectively earned the top performance of the week.

The Pack (1-2) prevailed 12-7 at Kinston High School (2-2) after holding the Vikings scoreless on three trips inside the 20 yard line and twice inside the 10 during the second half.

The defense caused two fumbles, sacked the Kinston quarterback six times and held the home team zero net rushing yards on 27 attempts.

“There’s no doubt the defense won it for us,” Taylor said. “It was a true team effort and several of them made big plays when we needed them. It’s great anytime you only need eight points to win.”

Linebacker Gabe Davis led the way with 10.5 tackles, while Walker Heath and Keondrick Melton each recorded two sacks. Reggie Matthews recorded six tackles and Hunter Baldree broke up a pair of passes.

Senior Jerai Davenport led the offense with 100 rushing yards that included a 10-yard scoring run. Davis scored the other touchdown on a three-yard run in the first quarter.

Northside: Sophomore Malachi Moore led a punishing Panther ground attack with 135 yards and two touchdowns on just six carries in a 49-6 home victory over Bear Grass. The Panthers (2-1) rumbled for 422 yards on 30 carries to average 14 yards every time they ran the ball. Max Vansant gained 98 yards and scored twice, while Jamie Corprew had 81 yards and a touchdown. Faithful Fulcher and Sincere Columbus scored the other two touchdowns. Columbus also averaged over 47 yards on eight returns.

Gus and Max Vansant led the defense with seven tackles each, while Dashawn Smith added six, including a pair for loss. Corprew had two sacks and Jack DeHoog intercepted a pass.

Southside: The Seahawks fell to 0-3 after a 24-6 loss at Martin County in Williamston in the first win for the combined South Creek and Riverside programs.

Senior Tequon Moore ran for 88 yards on 15 yards and scored Southside’s touchdown on a four-yard run in the fourth quarter. Moore finished with 138 all-purpose yards, led the defense with 10 tackles, intercepted a pass and blocked two extra point attempts.

Nolan Dixon and Alex Crisp each caught four passes.

Pungo Christian Academy: The Raiders (2-1) took their first loss in eight-man action, 22-14, at Community Christian in Wilson. Quay Artis gained 147 yards on nine carries with a touchdown and returned a kick 43 yards. Wells Eagles ran for the other PCA touchdown. McKinney Waters led the defense with 12 tackles, Parker Bird added 11 and Luke Ross intercepted a pass.