Bertie wins thriller
Published 12:00 am Monday, February 9, 2004
WINDSOR – Like D\u00E9j&192; vu
Bertie’s first win of the season back in August in Wilson was secured when Brandon Brown intercepted a fourth quarter pass as Hunt was driving for the game winning score.
Friday night Falcon defensive back Darrius Wesson had the visiting Warriors wondering what might have been as he sealed Hunt’s fate and their season with another crucial Bertie pick down the stretch as the Falcons rallied from a two-touchdown deficit to post a thrilling 28-27 win.
The Falcons got on the scoreboard first when Kevin Swain took a Desmond Williams screen around the left side for a 28 yard TD reception at the 10:43 mark of the first quarter.
No team managed to score again in the first period, and for that matter neither team really threatened the other until late in the second period.
After completing five of his first six passes, Williams picked up 47 yards on a scramble and then completed consecutive strikes to Dextine Rascoe and Brandon Brown to move the Falcons into scoring position.
After avoiding a sack on third down, Williams was stopped at the Hunt 2 yard line on fourth and seven with 22 seconds remaining in the first half.
Hunt kneeled down and ran out the clock heading into intermission trailing the Falcons 6-0.
The fireworks began in the third quarter when Hunt junior tailback James Pone ran 66 yards for a score to tie the game at the 11:04 mark of the third.
Hunt kicker Zach Thomas converted the extra point to give Hunt a 7-6 lead.
Less than two minutes later, Hunt defender Ricky Archer scooped up a Swain fumble and returned it 67 yards for the score.
The ensuing extra point conversion gave Hunt a 14-6 lead with just under 10 minutes left in the third quarter.
Pones scored again with 5:06 in the third on a 33 yard TD run that seemed to take the wind out of the Falcon’s sails, as Hunt went ahead 20-6 after the extra point attempt failed.
Hunt’s quick scores must have woke up the Falcon offense as Williams completed three straight passes on Bertie’s next possession to move the Falcons into scoring range, before hitting Brown for a five yard scoring strike with 3:12 in the third.
A two point conversion pass to Brown brought the Falcons to within six 20-14.
Bertie stopped Hunt on their next possession and a dropped TD pass by Brown at the end of the third was the only other scoring threat of the quarter, as Bertie trailed 20-14 after three periods.
One minute into the final period, Bertie’s Ryan White blocked Hunt punt attempt and teammate Jarrod Gilliam returned the ball nine yards for a TD to tie the score 20 – 20.
With 3:50 left in the fourth period, Hunt’s Pones ran 73 yards for his third rushing TD of the night to give the Warriors the lead.
Thomas converted the extra point to give his team a 27 -20 cushion.
With less than four minutes remaining in the game, Williams had one last chance to move is team into the second round of the playoffs and the junior quarterback came through in high fashion.
After throwing an incompletion on the first play of the drive, Williams completed his next three passes to move the Falcons into scoring range.
Williams then saved the Falcons’ season after scooping up a high snap and dodged several Hunt defenders for a crucial incompletion that could’ve spelled doom for first year head coach Tony Hoggard’s bunch.
Williams followed that play with a spectacular run on third and three to the visitor’s three yard line where Swain punched in a touchdown two plays later.
When Swain crossed the goal line on the critical two-point conversion to give the Falcons a 28-27 fourth quarter lead there was 1:52 on the clock.
Hunt’s Torez Jones returned the ensuing kickoff to the 50-yardline, putting the pressure back on the Falcon’s defense.
On Hunt’s first play from scrimmage, quarterback David Hessmer’s pass attempt was tipped and picked off by Wesson to end the Warrior’s season and advance Bertie to a November 17 date at top-seeded SouthWest Edgecombe.