Northern, Southern drop openers; Webb rallies for win
Northern Vance gave its fans reason for optimism with first-quarter touchdown Friday night in the season opener against Ravenscroft.
Northern quarterback Kris Haywood’s 22-yard strike to Jonas Simmons got the Vikings within three, but it wasn’t nearly enough to turn the tide as the Ravens took points away from their next five possessions in addition to collecting two points when a snap sailed out of bounds over the head of Vikings’ punter Brooks Falkner.
Ravenscroft, of the N.C. Independent School Athletic Association, led 36-7 at halftime en route to a 49-21 win.
“We still have to work on our defense,” said Northern head coach Eric Watkins. “Lot of missed tackles. We have to get back into tackling the early part of next week.”
Northern dropped to 1-9 all-time against the Ravens. The lone win came in Week 1 of the 2012 season; also the last victory the Vikings recorded. Since then, Northern has dropped 22 consecutive games and owns the state’s longest active losing streak.
“We’re real determined,” said Northern senior Michael Spinner. “In practice, we work real hard. This game didn’t show it.”
Ravenscroft’s first punt of the game came with 2:54 to play and the Ravens outgained the Vikings 426-284 in total offense, racking up 370 rushing yards.
Crawford Sloan led Ravenscroft’s ground attack with 126 yards on nine carries and Tiger Harris had 111 yards on five carries.
Northern sophomore Brooks Falkner pinned the Ravens inside their 10-yard line with a 50-yard punt that was squandered when Sloan ran through the middle of the Vikings’ defense, out-pacing the secondary for a 93-yard score with one second left in the half. Henry Atkeson, who converted three field goals on the night, hit the extra point to make it 36-7.
Ravenscroft quarterbacks Spencer Beller and Cross Carpenter combined to go 5 of 14 for 56 yards.
Northern signal caller Kris Haywood was 12-for-20 passing for 181 yards and three touchdowns. Haywood twice hit receiver Quavon Harris for second-half scores, one from 45 yards and the other from 9.
“When the line blocked, we moved the football and Kris had enough time to pass the ball so I give the offensive line credit for that,” said Watkins. “We just have to continue to execute with our backs hitting the hole and being patient with their blocks.”
Northern tallied 103 rushing yards, led by Tyrrick Bullock’s 79 on seven carries.
Neither side had a turnover and the Vikings accumulated 10 penalties for 54 yards.
Northern hosts Warren County next week.
“I told them coming back Monday, be prepared to work on a lot of defense, a lot of tackling drills,” said Watkins. “But I think that will be a good game for us going into Labor Day weekend. I think the kids will be up for that one.”
Warren County won the matchup 46-22 last season in Warrenton.
The Eagles did not play on Friday.
“Since it’s a rivalry game, it’s going to be intense,” said Spinner. “We just have to work even harder.”
R — Henry Atkeson 27 kick, 6:34.
R — Tiger Harris 50 run (Atkeson kick), 4:14
NV — Jonas Simmons 22 pass from Kris Haywood (Brooks Falkner kick), 2:33.
R — Donald Fuller 2 run (Atkeson kick), 11:02.
R — Safety, 9:50.
R — Atkeson 28 kick, 8:11.
R — Cross Carpenter 13 run (Atkeson kick), 3:42.
R — Crawford Sloan 93 run (Atkeson kick), 0:01.
R — Troy Jones 10 pass from Spencer Beller (Atkeson kick), 11:10.
NV — Quavon Harris 45 pass from Haywood (Haywood run 2 PAT), 9:29.
R — Atkeson 25 kick. 5:59.
R — Atkeson 36 kick, 10:51.
NV — Harris 9 pass from Haywood (2 PAT no good), 1:09.
Raiders outmatched by Northeastern
Southern Vance head coach Lewis Young said Northeastern looked as least as strong as it was last year.
The scoreboard proved about the same. The Raiders fell 40-0 Friday Night in Elizabeth City and have been outscored 83-0 in the last two seasons by the Eagles, who reached the regional round of the state playoffs in 2013.
Southern was held to 17 yards of offense in the first half Friday and trailed 18-0 at halftime before a 22-point third quarter from its 2-A Northeastern Coastal Conference opponent.
Young was pleased to have a glimmer of hope at halftime after being buried in the first quarter last season.
“The defense had played so well compared to last year,” said Young. “I was proud of the defense. I thought they played a really good game.”
Northeastern’s Ge’Dari Liverman, a preseason all-state favorite, scored on an early 41-yard punt return and threw for two touchdown passes.
Southern’s offense, with nine new starters, turned the ball over six times.
Young said Southern running backs James Gibbs, Malik Boyd and Leroy Durham showed promise and Sheldon Smith, Juwan Harris, Marquis Crudup, and Maurice Howard stood out defensively.
Crudup, a senior defensive end, tallied three sacks and Harris, a senior, also recorded a sack.
The Raiders host Cedar Ridge of the 3-A Big Eight Conference next week. The Red Wolves fell 39-38 at Carrboro on Friday.
Evans rushes for 250 in Warriors’ win
Rakym Winstead gave J.F. Webb its first lead of the game Friday night at Granville Central with about seven minutes to play. The Warriors’ fullback scored from about 45 yards out, making it 32-30 before Webb tacked on another score to claim a 39-30 victory.
“It was a simple fullback trap,” said Webb head coach Tony Midgette. “We blocked it well up front and I think we caught them in a blitz, actually.”
Winstead finished with 125 rushing yards and junior tailback Tevin Evans piled up 250 yards and added the last score with about four minutes to play.
Webb’s Jaquis Thornton nabbed an interception to set up the final score.
The Warriors tallied about 400 rushing yards after rallying from a 20-7 halftime deficit.
Midgette credited the blocking of senior offensive linemen Kyle Williamson and Neil Lewis, paving the way for Evans’ big night.
“He’s the type of kid that trains for the fourth quarter,” Midgette said of Evans. “You could tell that he still had steam those last seven minutes of the game.”
Penalties hindered Webb on each side of the ball.
“Granville Central played well. They capitalized on every penalty,” said Midgette. “Their quarterback was awesome. He was on the money and we knew that going in.”
Webb welcomes Rocky Mount of the 3-A Big East Conference next week. The Gryphons defeated South Granville 34-0 on Friday.