Berrios, Pride break away from Falcons
Braxton Berrios produced enough offense in one half to make many players happy for two weeks.
Even though he spent the second half on the sidelines, it was more than enough for Raleigh Leesville Road to post an easy 62-21 win over Jordan on Friday night.
Berrios had four touchdowns and had surpassed the 200-yard rushing plateau before Jordan’s marching band performed its halftime show. The senior quarterback finished with 204 yards on nine carries, scoring touchdowns on scintillating runs covering 52, 30, 60 and 28 yards.
“The blocking, they create alleys and I take it from there,” Berrios said “On the touchdowns, it was all up front. Even on the outside runs, they broke it out and stuck with it.”
Berrios’ personal onslaught helped the Pride (1-0) built a 42-7 lead at intermission. It also allowed Leesville Road coach Chad Smothers to give him the second half off and let his reserves get valuable playing time.
“Braxton did a super job out there running the offense,” Smothers said. “He’s a four-year starter. We can put him pretty much anywhere.”
Rated a four-star recruit by the major recruiting services, Berrios holds offers from not only local schools Duke, North Carolina, N.C. State, Wake Forest and East Carolina but also major national programs such as Oregon, Ohio State, Miami and Virginia Tech.
He said he plans to visit Oregon next weekend and Miami the following weekend.
Jordan coach LaDwaun Harrison saw enough to know that the Falcons won’t see players like Berrios every week.
“He’s a special kid,” Harrison said. “He made a lot of really good plays. He escaped some stuff that maybe the average guy doesn’t escape. Other times, we had him hemmed in, we thought, and he reversed field and make big plays. He’s a pretty good player.”
Jordan started its second season under Harrison with an impressive touchdown drive after both teams punted on their initial possessions. When the Falcons (0-1) got the ball back, they drove 63 yards on five plays. Rahim Winston’s 39-yard touchdown drive put Jordan up 7-0.
Berrios and the Pride took over from there.
His 52-yard touchdown scamper on a second-and-7 play put the Pride on the scoreboard.
A missed extra point left Jordan with a 7-6 lead, but it didn’t last long.
A short Jordan punt set Leesville Road up in Falcons territory. Berrios’ 30-yard touchdown run gave the Pride a 13-7 lead with 1:46 left in the first quarter.
With three seconds left in the quarter Malcolm Hitchcock got in on the fun for Leesville Road with a 52-yard punt return for a score.
With Jordan punting on all three of its second-quarter possessions, Leesville Road rolled to its big halftime lead. Berrios ran for two second-quarter touchdowns, and Hitchcock added a touchdown on a 39-yard run for the 42-7 halftime lead.
“Once they got it opened up,” Harrison said, “they just steamrolled us a little bit.”
Smothers mixed in reserve players in the second half as he attempts to build depth for what’s expected to be a deep playoff run for the Pride come November. Still, Leesville Road gained 438 yards rushing.
In defeat, Jordan showed the ability to move the ball on the ground as well. Winston rushed for 95 yards while Chris Francis had 57.
“We have some really good backs,” Harrison said. “They all ran the ball pretty well. I’m always encouraged by our running backs.”
Leesville Rd. 62, Jordan 21
J—Rahim Winston 39 run (Eli Rice kick), 7:03
L—Braxton Berrios 52 run (kick failed), 4:53
L—Berrios 30 run (Connor Eller pass from Berrios), 1:46
L—Malcolm Hitchcock 52 punt return (Parker Yount kick), :03
L—Berrios 60 run (Yount kick), 8:20
L—Malcolm Hitchcock 39 run (Yount kick), 2:37
L—Berrios 28 run (Yount kick), :17.8
L—Mike Dehaney 57 run (Yount kick), 10:53
L—Mason Pyper 5 run (kick blocked), 2:59
J—Maliik Marcin-Lewis 5 run (Rice kick), 8:00
L—Marcel Hawkins 5 run (Ben Grant kick), 2:25
J—Clayton Cockerham 1 run (Rice kick), :0.7.
Rushing—Leesville Road, Braxton Berrios 9-204, Mike Dehaney 4-78, Malcolm Hitchcock 5-65, Marcel Hawkins 6-52, Sherrod Tayler 3-19, Mason Pyper 4-16, Connor Eller 1-6, Mike Dunmire 1-(minus-2). Jordan, Rahim Winston 13-95, Chris Francis 9-57, Matt Gampe 1-4, Chris McKinnis 7-39, Trevor Miller 1-(minus-2), Maliik Marcin-Lewis 1-12, Jordan Vincent 1-5, Bruce Black 1-5, Clayton Cockerham 4-22.
Passing—Leesville Road, Braxton Berrios 1-2-0 (minus-1), Mason Pyper 2-3-0 23. Jordan, Matt Gampe 2-5-0 (minus-5), Bruce Black 3-4-0 24.
Receiving—Jordan, Picasso Keaton 3-10, Arthur Reese 2-9. Leesville Road, Connor Eller 1-(minus-1), Nate Duell 1-18, Sherrod Taylor 1-5.