|Big Wins For Squads
|WILSON -- Northern Nash and Southern Nash moved one step closer to a possible share of the Big East Conference football title with big wins last Friday evening.
READY OR NOT, HERE IT COMES. Southern Nash signal-caller Devon Lavender (left) delivers a pass for the Firebirds during their home conquest last Friday night against Rocky Mount. (Submitted photos by David Hahula)
The two teams entered the weekend in a four-way tie along with Nash Central and Wilson Hunt for first place in the league at 3-1 with two games remaining.
Friday’s nights results made it a three-way race to the championship going into the final week of the regular season.
At Buddy Bedgood Stadium on Wilson Fike’s campus, the Knights grabbed their seventh win of the season by running all over the Golden Demons with a 49-3 demolishing.
The Knights (7-3), who are in line for a their first conference title since their 4-A title run in 2002, scored on their first five possessions en route to a decisive 35-0 lead the half.
Two 1-yard scoring runs by Rashad Hedgepeth in the first period put Northern up 14-0 early. Three more touchdowns in the second period got the Knights’ their huge lead at intermission.
A Jamarl Davis 88-yard interception return for a TD and a Hedgepeth 21-yard scoring run were sandwiched around Fike’s lone score -- a 40-yard field goal by Drayton Williams with 9:59 left in the game.
Northern piled up 377 yards on the ground. The Knights allowed Fike (2-8, 0-3) just 150 yards of total offense.
The Knights will conclude the regular season Friday with a trip to Rocky Mount.
Northern, which trails in the series with the Gryphons 24-17, hopes to end its seven-game losing streak to RMHS.
SNHS: Rocky Mount gave Southern Nash troubles early Friday, but the Firebirds’ potent running game took over after the first quarter as they rolled to a 34-7 win over the Gryphons.
The Firebirds (8-2, 3-1), who will close the regular season at Nash Central this Friday, saw junior Tracey Coppedge run wild, while scoring not once, but twice in the air.
While Southern’s offense continued to gain momentum, the Firebirds put a clamp on the Gryphons (3-7, 1-3).
Coppedge ran for 175 yards and scored on a touchdown run and he caught two passes -- also for touchdowns.
Southern led 14-0 at the half -- thanks to a 36-yard TD pass from freshman QB Devon Lavender and a Terron Huffman 1-yard run.
Rocky Mount, which had only 106 total yards, got its lone score on a nine-play, 71-yard drive when on fourth down, Tevin Taylor hit Damien Strickland for a 25-yard scoring strike to narrow Southern’s lead to 14-7.
But the Firebirds closed the game with three more touchdowns to put the game away. The defeat also ended the Gryphons’ eight-year playoff berth run.
NCHS: Wilson Hunt suffered its first shutout since 2008 in its first Big East loss two weeks ago at Southern Nash. The Warriors were in a bad mood this past Friday, so they posted a shutout themselves on homestanding Nash Central with a 29-0 defeat.
Hunt (8-2, 3-1), the defending conference champ, dominated this contest from start to finish.
While the Bulldogs (4-6, 2-2) were mired in a series of three-and-outs, the Warriors put together two scoring drives to take a 12-0 lead to the dressing room at halftime.
Fullback Everton Jones scored on a 3-yard run and tailback Tyrell Vinson popped in a 7-yard score before intermission.
Hunt, which travel to Fike Friday for its final regular season contest, went to the air in the second half.
Quarterback Jacob Page found Vinson for a 24-yard score in the third period and Tim Apple white for a 9-yard strike in the fourth.
Kicker Jacob Lee concluded the night’s scoring with a 39-yard field goal with less than six minutes remaining.
Nash Central managed just 11 first downs and 156 total yards, while Hunt got balance in its attack in running for 238 (led by senior Caleb Driver with 128 yards rushing) and passing for 108 while tallying 20 first downs.
The Warriors were also beneficiaries of three Bulldog turnovers while Wilson Hunt was miscue-free.