BEAR GRASS - North Duplin stepped outside conference play and halted a two-game skid with a decisive victory over Bear Grass Charter on Friday evening.
Southern Wayne celebrated homecoming at the Doyle Whitfield Athletic Complex, while Spring Creek traveled to state-ranked Princeton for a Neuse Six 2A contest.
Rebels 41, Bears 14
BEAR GRASS - North Duplin recovered five onside kicks, including four in the second quarter, on Friday evening.
“I’ve never seen that before,” said Rebels head coach Hugh Martin. “We tried to squib kick a lot, they didn’t handle it and I think it just continued to grow on them. They got a little antsy trying to field them.
“[The recoveries] gave us a lot more opportunities for sure.”
Tied at 7-7 after one quarter, the Rebels reeled off 28 consecutive points via their kicking game and comfortably cruised to their third victory of the season.
Eli Morrisey rushed for a career-high 223 yards and four touchdowns on an eye-popping 37 carries. Luis Olivos slashed the Bears’ defense for 141 yards and two touchdowns on just nine totes.
The Rebels piled up 379 yards of total offense.
“Offensively, we were very methodical…lot of good solid runs for five, six and seven yards at a time,” Martin said. “Luis had a good, long run early. I thought we executed farely well for that to happen.
“Defensively, we bent a little early, but they didn’t have many offensive opportunities in the first half. As we played, we ran the ball real well, but still made some mistakes. Defensively, we held our ground, too, against their size at the line because that was a big concern.”
North Duplin (3-4 overall) returns to Carolina 1A Conference play Friday at Rosewood. Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Branch Pope Field.
“They’re a very good football team, good size up front on both sides of the ball,” Martin said. “They move extremely well, have real good skill players and do a lot of things offensively.”
Bulldogs 70, Gators 0
PRINCETON - Princeton seized command in the opening period and accumulated 509 yards of total offense against Spring Creek on Friday evening.
“We just physically dominated up front, could never get a push,” Gators head coach Daniel Robinson said. “We couldn’t come close to matching their speed with the running backs they’ve got. We were there to make plays, but their with their athleticism and quickness, we couldn’t stop them.”
David Williams paced Spring Creek’s ground attack with 35 yards. Robert Wiggins contributed 33 yards, while Dylan Davidson churned out a hard-earned 26 yards.
Freshman quarterback Gio Pineda completed three passes for 45 yards, including two to Cory Davis that covered a total of 38 yards.
Davis emerged as the defensive leader with four tackles.
“We’ve got some injuries, trying to plug holes,” Robinson said. “Kids are out of position right now, and we’re trying to catch them up to speed as fast as we can.”
Spring Creek (3-4) returns home Friday to face Neuse Six 2A rival Goldsboro.
Spartans 64, Saints 0
DUDLEY - Smithfield-Selma recorded touchdowns on all nine offensive possessions in Quad County 3A Conference play.
The Spartans (5-3 overall, 3-2 QCC) forced a turnover on downs, recovered a blocked punt in the end zone and recovered a game-ending fumble.
“We keep coaching, keep teaching,” Saints head coach Ronnie McClary Jr. said. “Some of those [young] guys still have to learn the game of football. Nothing changes from the coaches’ aspect, other than just the fact you keep pushing them a little harder because you don’t want them to look at from the perspective of we’re just losing.
“So, we just use it as a learning experience.”
Southern Wayne nearly averted the shutout in the fourth.
Wadshon Pierre-Louis returned a kickoff 77 yards into the SSS red zone. The Saints ran a couple of plays before the Spartans recovered a fumble.
McClary Jr. said his team “must turn the page.”
Southern Wayne (1-6, 0-4) entertains Fike on Friday.