Bears collect win #1

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 25, 2004

AHOSKIE – Since the start of the 2004 football season, Hertford County High School head coach Greg Watford tried desperately to get the Bears to buy into his new Triple Option offensive scheme.

It may have taken five weeks and four painful losses to make his point, but Watford’s patience was finally rewarded here last night.

Flashing an offense that produced 460 total yards and five touchdowns, the Bears ended their four-game losing streak with a resounding 35-18 win over Elizabeth City Northeastern in the conference opener for both clubs.

The Bears executed Watford’s offense to near perfection, hitting big plays to either strike paydirt or set-up touchdowns. Of the Bears 44 rushing attempts, 15 went for 10 yards or more.

Leading that effort was sophomore quarterback Danny Dembry who rushed for 146 yards on 12 carries and three touchdowns. Junior tailback Jaquin Sessoms also cracked the century mark on the ground, rushing for 119 yards on just six attempts. Another junior, LaMarcus Bond chipped in 58 yards on nine carries, scoring twice – once on a rushing play plus a 97-yard kick-off return.

The Bears, for the first time this season, never trailed. HCHS snapped a 6-6 tie thanks to Bond’s thrilling 97-yard kickoff at the 4:53 mark of the first quarter.

That emotional lift sparked the Bears to another first quarter score – Dembry’s 43-yard scamper on an option keeper. Michael Burton’s PAT helped stake the Bears to a 21-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Northeastern’s Devin Sutton gave the Eagles a breath of life near the midway mark of the second quarter when he picked up an HCHS fumble and scored from four yards out. The conversion run failed, but the visitors had crept to within 21-12.

But Watford’s Bears were up to the task on this night when, two plays after the ensuing kick-off, Dembry called his own number on an option keeper, sprinting around the right end en route to a 75-yard TD run. Burton’s kick made it a 28-12 halftime lead.

HCHS tallied their final touchdown on the first possession of the second half. There, Bond’s 47-yard run on an option pitch from Dembry capped a seven play, 70-yard drive. Burton added the PAT kick.

Northeastern tallied the game’s final score on a 21-yard run by Shelton Morgan with 2:32 left in the third period.

Using a 24-yard interception return by Ken Lee, the Bears drew first blood when Dembry capped a short 31-yard drive with his two-yard TD run with 6:43 left in the first quarter.

Less than two minutes later, the Eagles tied the game at 6-6 on a Dominick Price four-yard run.

HCHS (1-0 in the conference and 1-4 overall) travels to unbeaten Edenton next week.