East denies West

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 25, 2004

GASTON – Northampton County High School – East went to West and survived 36-32.

The victory over their county rival was the first Tar-Roanoke Conference win in the two-year stint of H.B. Harris at the helm of the Rams.

But, the win didn’t come easy as the East defense had to dig in and hold off a late threat from the cross-county rival Hurricanes.

West, trailing by four, took over at the East 45-yardline with less than three minutes to play and drove deep into Ram territory thanks to a 17-yard pass from Randy Tuner to Jeffrey Long and an 11-yard scamper by Titus Lee.

From there, East held thanks to a key tackle for loss by defensive lineman Melvin Rogers and a pass that was batted down by Keon Shoulars.

East led 22-12 at the half and had to withstand a furious rally from the Hurricanes.

The lead came after West led 6-0 thanks to a 38-yard touchdown run by Lee in the opening minutes of the first quarter.

From there, East tied the score on a two-yard run by Chris Price. That scamper was set up by a seven-yard jaunt from quarterback Travis Mason. The conversion failed, leaving the score tied at six-all.

West retaliated with a seven-yard scamper to paydirt by senior back Andre Williams. The conversion failed, leaving West ahead 12-6.

East wasn’t to be denied, however, as they scored on the following possession.

Aided by a facemask penalty on the Hurricanes, Northampton-East drove 75 yards on nine plays capped by a Price 20-yard run to paydirt. The conversion run by Shoulars gave East the 14-12 advantage.

They added to the lead after West faked a punt and failed to pick up the first down yardage.

DeMontae Lassiter went 44 yards on the next play, added by a key block from Marcell Goffinton. Lassiter also got the scoring carry as he went three yards to give East a 22-12 advantage with 2:09 to play in the first half.

The Rams extended their advantage on the opening kickoff of the second half when Greg Boone went 73 yards to paydirt. The conversion failed, but East had a 28-12 lead.

That advantage slipped to 10 when Lee went four yards to cap a 10-play, 55-yard drive. The conversion run failed, leaving West behind 28-18.

East scored what proved to be the game-winning touchdown five minutes later when Mason plunged in from one-yard out to cap a 70-yard drive. The march was highlighted by a 34-yard run from Price and a 12-yard jaunt by Lassiter. The score and

the conversion pass form Mason to Jeremy Taylor gave East a 36-18 lead with 1:13 to go in the third quarter.

West made their opponents sweat it out, however, scoring with 10:26 to play in the fourth on a 37-yard run by Lee that cut the advantage to 36-24.

Following an East fumble, West scored again, this time on a 20-yard pass from Tuner to Aljerald Butcher. Tuner stuck in the two-point conversion to cut the advantage to 36-32.