South Granville can’t escape hole against Hertford
No. 13 Hertford County used a handful of big plays Friday night to get past No. 4 South Granville 27-14 and advanced to the second round of the 2-AA playoffs.
The Bears, out of Ahoskie, didn’t dominate the game, but their big strikes early in the contest put the Vikings in a hole too deep to escape by the time the home team mounted a second-half comeback.
The effort was there from the Vikings, who never quit, South Granville coach Mike Hobgood said.
“It is what it is,” Hobgood said. “Someone’s going to win, someone’s going to lose, and it was our turn to lose.”
Tearful Vikings cried on each other’s shoulder pads after the game.
“It’s kind of like going to a funeral,” Hobgood said. “It ain’t really much to say. You just feel horrible, but what do you really say except that you love ’em and appreciate ’em and thank them for being part of the family.”
It was the last high school football game for South Granville quarterback Matt McCutcheon and his entire offensive line, but the Vikings will return some key skill guys in running backs Sean Bowman and Earl Green, Hobgood said.
Hertford County coach Scott Privott said the Bears (7-5) showed character when South Granville (9-3) began to close the gap.
“We’ve been in some close games all year, and finally something good happened for us,” Privott said. “We’re not a 13 seed. Don’t let the record fool you.”
After a scoreless first quarter, the Vikings in the second quarter surrendered huge chunks of yardage that allowed the Bears to put points on the scoreboard.
Hertford County quarterback Ryan Weaver and wide receiver Marquis Clark collaborated on a 43-yard pass play before getting together again for a 19-yard touchdown.
The Vikings hadn't trailed in a game since coming from behind to beat Bunn on Oct. 25.
Weaver found running back Anthony Lassiter down the field for a touchdown pass that covered 66 yards.
Late in the second quarter, South Granville failed to score after arriving in the red zone, yielding the ball on downs.
South Granville started the third quarter driving the ball well. Bowman carved out a swath of land with a 42-yard run. But then he fumbled, and Bears linebacker Kenneth Sharpe Jr. recovered it and hauled it 65 yards to the end zone.
The Vikings got back in the red zone on their next possession, all the way down to Hertford County’s 3-yard line before losing another fumble.
The Bears recovered the fumble on the 1 but ended up punting.
South Granville started the fourth quarter with a 63-yard touchdown jaunt from McCalop, bringing the Vikings within six points. Time was running out on the Vikings when South Granville defensive back Spencer Allen intercepted Weaver.
South Granville took over on its 28 with 4:59 left to play.
On fourth and 4, McCalop caught a McCutcheon pass but was tackled mere inches from the first-down marker.
Hertford County took over possession of the football with less than four minutes to play.
The teams scrapped with each other while the Bears milked the clock with a victory formation. The situation was getting out of hand before coaches rushed the field to restore order. Privott said the scrum could mean some of his players might be disqualified for the next round of the playoffs.
HERTFORD 27, S. GRANVILLE 14
Hertford Co. 0 14 6 7 — 27
Southern 0 0 7 7 — 14
HC — Marquis Clark 19 pass from Ryan Weaver (Bryan Merritt kick), 9:52
HC — Anthony Lassiter 66 pass from Weaver (Merritt kick), 7:44
HC — Kenneth Sharpe Jr. 65 fumble return (kick blocked), 9:15
SG — Sean Bowman 5 run (Kaleb Chamberlain kick), 1:52
SG — Greg McCalop 63 run (Chamberlain kick), 11:52
HC — Lassiter 10 run (Merritt kick), 1:58
RUSHING — Hertford Co., Anthony Lassiter 6-13, Kevin Chavis 7-33. So. Granville, Sean Bowman 20-121, Greg McCalop 11-33, Earl Green 8-15.
PASSING — Hertford Co., Ryan Weaver 7-17-1 189. So. Granville, Matt McCutcheon 8-21-0 82O.
RECEIVING — Hertford Co. Jemel Monger 2-44, Marquis Clark 2-62, Lassiter 2-72.
Records — Hertford County 7-5, South Granville 9-3.