Panthers tame Pups on Senior Night

Published 10:48 pm Thursday, October 19, 2023

11 Northside seniors made sure their last regular season game at Bing Mitchell Field was a success as they routed Lejeune, 55-0, in a steady mist that only let up for the halftime recognition ceremony.

The Panthers run-oriented offense was in post-season form on a night not conducive to throwing the ball, while the Devil Pups leaky defense continued to struggle to stop their opponents from scoring.

Northside (7-2, 4-0) scored on four of its first five possessions to put the game away early, while the defense lived up to its stingy reputation with its second straight shutout and third in the last four games.  Lejeune entered the contest as the top-scoring team in the Coastal Plains Conference at 35 points a game, but crossed midfield just twice all night.

“We tackled extremely well tonight and our confidence is growing on both sides of the ball, but particularly on defense,” coach Keith Boyd said. “We laid some big hits on them, forced a couple of turnovers and took control of the game early.”

It took the Panthers (7-2, 4-0) three plays to score as sophomore Sincere Columbus covered the final 14 yards.

After a fourth down incompletion from the Lejeune 30, senior Jamie Corprew ran the final 10 yards for a 14-0 lead.

A fumble at the 10 yard line stopped the next drive, but after another fourth down incompletion, Corprew made it 22-0 with an 11 yard scoring run.

Senior Gus Vansant intercepted a Pups pass at the 15 yard line and Corprew scored from the eight yard line two plays later for a 28-0 lead after the first quarter.

“Our offensive line did its job and Jamie did his, but the defense set them up pretty well,” Boyd said. “It’s good to see our team improving in all areas this time of year.”

Early in the second quarter, senior defensive back T.J. Squires picked off a Lejeune pass at midfield and returned it to the 25. Corprew took it from there, finding the end zone on his second carry. He also added the two point conversion for a 36-0 advantage.

Jack DeHoog came up with another inception on the next drive, setting up Columbus for a 42-0 lead, then Squires snagged his second interception and returned it 54 yards for a touchdown and a 48-0 halftime lead.

Junior Zanek McCloud capped the scoring with a six yard run after Nic Jordan blocked a Lejeune punt at the 21-yard line.

Corprew finished with 194 yards and four touchdowns on 15 carries as the Panthers gained 243 rushing yards, mostly in the first half.

“We’ve been playing loose and having fun since the Rosewood loss about a month ago,” Boyd said, “We play at Pamlico County next week and they will be conference champs if they beat us. That should be plenty of incentive for our guys to keep working hard in practice and carry it into the game like we did tonight.”