New Hanover knocks Knights out of tournament
The New Hanover football team on Friday night put its first-round playoff fortunes in the capable hands of all-purpose back Ramone Simpson.
Simpson's five touchdowns paced a 40-0 final over visiting Northern. The Wildcats (9-3) now face a rematch with Hoggard in the second round of the 4A brackets, on the Vikings' home turf.
"It's my senior year," said Simpson, who scored three rushing and two receiving touchdowns in the first half. "Coach emphasizes it all the time; leave it all on the field.
"It's critical that I be versatile ... because that way, it gives a headache to the defense to try to stop us."
Against Northern, Simpson was a full-on migraine, with 145 receiving yards on eight receptions and 55 rushing yards on seven carries.
"The thing is, he's gotten healthier," New Hanover coach Kevin Motsinger said of Simpson. "He was pretty banged up there for a good while.”
New Hanover quarterback Ward Coleman led the aerial assault with 287 passing yards, on a 15-for-28 night. And Mosley finished with 105 yards on 10 carries.
With 7:03 left in the opening frame, Simpson caught a pass from Coleman in the middle of the Knights' defense and raced thought the secondary for a 67-yard touchdown.
On New Hanover's next offensive series, the 5-10 senior back reeled off a 46-yard run, resulting in a 20-0 lead with 2:28 left in the first quarter.
Simpson opened the second quarter by catching a short pass from Coleman before slipping more tackles and racing 48 yards and into the end zone. And he also turned in scoring runs of 2 and 3 yards.
New Hanover went into the break with a 33-0 cushion. The only score of the second half came on Jamius Beckett's 10-yard run with 5:25 to play.
The Knights (3-9) got 55 rushing yards on 20 carries out of Alphonso Gbojueh and 50 yards on 16 carries from quarterback Zaaqhai Mann.
Northern coach R.J. Wilson already was talking to his team after the game about preparing for next year.
"It was a season of building and a season of growth," Wilson said. "We were able to get a taste of the playoffs and did not have any success here. As a young group, we need to get to work."
NEW HANOVER 40, NORTHERN 0
Northern 0 0 0 0 — 0
New Hanover 20 13 0 7 — 40
NH — Ramone Simpson 2 run (kick failed), 10:12
NH — Simpson 67 pass from Ward Coleman (pass failed), 7:03
NH — Malachi Mosley 46 run (Travon Holliday pass from Coleman), 2:30
NH — Simpson 48 pass from Coleman (kick blocked), 11:40
NH — Simpson 3 run (Kieran Aab), 2:29
NH — Jamius Beckett 10 run (Aab kick), 5:25
RUSHING — Northern, Alphonso Gbojueh 22-75, Deshon Holmes 6-30, Atavion Oliver 2-10, Zaaqhai Mann16-7, Kendrick Bailey 1-1, Griffin Baker 1-minus 5. New Hanover, Mosley 11-148, Beckett 2-19, Simpson 5-8, Coleman 1-4.
PASSING — Northern, Mann 3-12-1 40, Baker 3-10-1 26, Dillon Leovic 1-1-0 16. New Hanover, Coleman 15-23-1 290.
RECEIVING — Northern, Jalon Nixon 3-20, Dominek McNeill 2-32, Oliver 1-16, Jamaal Moore 1-14. New Hanover, Simpson 7-137, Parese Williams 3-50, Travon Holliday 1-49, Rome Murphy 1-30, Nykeheim Walker 1-13, Coleman 1-8, Karon Reid 1-3.
Records — Northern 3-9, New Hanover 8-3.