West ‘rains’ on Bullets

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 13, 2004

JAMESVILLE – Neither rain nor…

Well, it was just rain really.

Still, no matter what the weather conditions, the rain nor the muddy field nor the Jamesville defense could stop Northampton-West or senior running back Andre Williams.

The Hurricanes, seeded 12thin the Class 1-A bracket, scored with less than one minute to play to upset fourth-seeded Jamesville 22-16 and knock the Bullets out of the playoffs in the first round for the second consecutive year.

It looked as though West (now 5-6 on the season) would be taking the first-round exit as they trailed 16-14 with less than one minute to play.

Williams, however, returned the kickoff from the West 20-yardline all the way to the Jamesville 42. From there, the Hurricanes drove to the two-yardline where they faced third-and-goal.

Williams scored on a two-yard plunge and Desmond Moody added the conversion run to seal the Hurricanes’ upset victory over Jamesville.

The Bullets fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Northampton-West recovered and ran out the clock to advance to the second round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association playoffs for the second consecutive year.

Williams finished with 190 yards on 21 carries and scored two of the Hurricanes’ three touchdowns while Rashaun Roberts led West defensively with six tackles, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

&uot;I’m really proud of the guys,&uot; veteran skipper Diego Hasty said. &uot;It was a great job to come back, being down with a couple of minutes left, getting the long return. I’m real proud of them.&uot;

The game was played in a downpour for the first half with more than half of the field completely submerged in water, but neither team let that dampen the playoff-caliber football.

The Bullets carried an 8-6 lead into the intermission after West drove to the Jamesville two-yardline with just over one minute to play in the contest, but turned the ball over on downs.

They capitalized on a Titus Lee punt return to grab the lead away to open the third period.

After the West defense pinned Jamesville deep in their own territory, Lee returned a punt 12 yards to the Bullets’ 28-yardline.

After Williams picked up six yards on a sweep, setting up second-and-four, the senior raced 22 yards for a touchdown with 4:41 to play in the third period. Williams added the conversion run himself to give West a 14-8 advantage.

Jamesville blocked a West punt late in the fourth quarter to take over on the Hurricanes’ 48-yardline. On the next play from scrimmage, Justin Smith ran the distance on a fumble-rooskie that appeared to have tied the contest.

After discussion, the officials waived off the score, only to reverse themselves moments later after conferring with the Bullets’ coach. Jamesville then scored the two-point conversion to grab a 16-14 lead with 2:52 to play in the contest.