Roundup: Webb wins; S. Granville, Granville Central, Kestrel fall
By JESSIE H. NUNERY, The Rocky Mount Telegram
ROCKY MOUNT — In the hallway leading toward the Rocky Mount High football locker room, there is a bulletin board full of reachable goals.
The “Darkside Crossbones” list has 12 goals individual players or the team can meet to earn decals on their helmets for the upcoming game.
After the Gryphons’ 2014 season-opener, coach Jason Battle and his staff willl spend plenty of time this week adding crossbones to helmets.
“We’re going to be putting on decals for about a month,” Battle joked.
Rocky Mount hit on approximately eight of their crossbone goals, scoring on offense, defense and special teams in an easy 34-0 victory against South Granville.
There were a number of standouts to open Battle’s third season as head coach, perhaps none as spectacular as senior Rashawn Harris.
Harris scored on a 27-yard touchdown pass from Joshua Carter just before the half to give the Gryphons a 20-0 lead.
After Rocky Mount forced a three-and-out to start the second half, Harris returned a punt 72 yards for another score.
It was the second consecutive season that Harris has scored on a punt return in the team’s opener.
“That comes natural,” Harris said. “Every time I catch a punt, I expect to run it back.”
Rocky Mount’s “Darkside” defense never allowed South Granville to penetrate its 20-yard line.
The Gryphons recovered three fumbles and allowed only 118 total yards of offense — which will earn the team a decal.
Carter was efficient under center, completing 7 of 11 passes for a pair of touchdows, both while out of the hashmarks.
“As the season goes, we’ll stay more in the pocket,” Carter said.
“(Friday), we saw we could get out and throw it because of what they were running.”
ROCKY MOUNT 34, SOUTH GRANVILLE 0
South Granville 0 0 0 0 — 0
Rocky Mount 14 6 8 6 — 34
RM — Bikembe Kearney 52 pass from Joshua Carter (conversion failed), 5:06
RM — Broderick Caudle 22 fumble recovery (Carter conversion), 3:13
RM — Rashawn Harris 27 pass from Carter (conversion failed), 1:31
RM — Harris 72 punt return (Mallik Lewis conversion), 9:21
RMH — Lewis 70 run (conversion failed), 6:04
RUSHING — South Granville, Earl Green 22-79; Sean Bowman 8-35; Mitchell Blackley 10-9; Chad Hiniker 3-3; Casey Flowers 4-(-6). Rocky Mount, Mallik Lewis 7-97; Broderick Caudle 5-20; Nick Bynum 3-17; B.J. Sanders 3-4; Sherrod Greene 2-1; Tyrell Forbes 2-(-6); Joshua Carter 3-(-10).
PASSING — South Granville, Mitchell Blackley 0-2, 0. Rocky Mount, Joshua Carter 7-11, 118.
Receiving — South Granville, none. Rocky Mount, Bikembe Kearney 2-57; Rashawn Harris 1-27; J.C. Freeman 1-17; Chris Richardson 1-9; Tyrell Forbes 1-8; B.J. Sanders 1-1.
Oxford Webb 39, Granville Central 30
STEM — Visiting cross-county rival Webb of the Big Eight 3-A Conference rallied late to pull out a win over 1-A Granville Central Friday night in both teams’ openers.
“It was a tough, physical game,” Granville Central coach John Hammett said. “Both teams played really hard and fought.”
Granville Central rolled to a 20-7 halftime lead but saw Webb score a pair of third quarter touchdowns to close the gap to 20-14. Granville Central punted to the Webb 1 and scored on a safety to make it 22-14 and eventually held a 30-26 lead in the fourth quarter with a chance to put the game away.
A Granville Central punt caromed off a Webb player and Granville Central recovered, but was unable to score.
Web answered by taking its first lead on a 40-yard run by Rakym Winstead with about four minutes left in the game and tacked on an insurance TD with a minute left on a 15-yard dash by Tevin Evans after the Panthers turned the ball over on downs.
Winstead, a fullback, rushed for 125 yards for the Warriors, and Evans, a tailback ran for 250 more, according to Webb coach Tony Midgette.
“Those two guys broke off some long runs against us,” Hammett said. “That Evans is a load.”
Midgette was pleased that his team hung in against the Panthers’ air attack led by quarterback Jay Parker. “We started kind of slow, but we stayed the course and came back.
“We had a couple of touchdowns called back because of penalties — we had 100-plus yards in penalties. But we got a good effort from our defensive front. They were getting after the quarterback (Parker) pretty good, and played very well against the run.”
Northwest Wake 38, Kestrel Heights 26
Northwest Wake 14 8 8 8 — 38
Kestrel Heights 14 0 6 6 — 26
DURHAM — Kestrel Heights committed three turnovers and had two apparent touchdowns called back because of penalties as the host Hawks lost to the Northwest Wake Saints in the season opener for both teams Friday.
Kestrel Heights coach David Lloyd Jr. thought mistakes cost his team the game against the Saints — made up of Wake County home-schooled players. The game was played at Bethesda Elementary School, the Hawks’ home field.
“With the turnovers and two touchdowns called back, we left 14 to 20 points on the field,” Lloyd said. “We made a lot of mental mistakes and it cost us.”
The Hawks were intercepted once and lost a pair of fumbles, both on poor snaps.
On the plus side, junior quarterback Devonté Barker rushed for 189 yards and three touchdowns while passing for 79 more including a 43-yard score to Shane Tillery.
“We played really tough, that’s the good news,” Lloyd said. “We didn’t give up.”