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Bears losing streak reaches three games

AHOSKIE – Despite pitching a shutout in the second half, the Hertford County losing streak carries on.

The Bears outscored Rocky Mount 6-0 in half number two, but a 30-point first half was enough for the Gryphons to send HCHS to 2-3 on the season by a final of 30-21.

Jason Tyler threw a trio of touchdown passes for Rocky Mount, including a 58-yarder to Mychal Bynum with less than a minute to play in the first half to give the visiting team a 30-15 lead at the break.

Trailing by 15 heading into the second half, the Bears put together just one score in the second half. That came when Danny Dembry broke a 70-yard run with 4:48 to play in the game.

The second half silence was practically a night-and-day difference from the first two periods of play. The two schools combined to put up 45 points in the first half.

Rocky Mount drew first blood when they marched 46 yards on six plays capped by a 30-yard pass from Tyler to Kendrick Dean. The score came on fourth-and-six for the Gryphons. The conversion was good when Tyler made it to the endzone to put Rocky Mount ahead 8-0.

Hertford County appeared to have scored quickly when LaMarcus Bond grabbed a screen pass from Danny Dembry and rumbled 42 yards to paydirt, but a penalty from an illegal block called the score back.

Following an exchange of punts, Antwayne Gatling scooped up a Rocky Mount fumble to give HCHS the ball at the Gryphon 24-yardline. Three plays later Bond went 13 yards for the score. The two-point conversion was good, but a penalty again called it back. HCHS settled for a Michael Burton kick to cut the lead to 8-7.

The Gryphons answered with a nine-play, 62-yard drive that padded their advantage. Tyler again found Dean, this time for 16 yards. Tyler again added the conversion, getting the Gryphon lead to 16-7.

Hertford County wasted no time getting back into the endzone, scoring on a 43-yard drive that lasted just three plays. The scoring strike came when Dembry found Jaquin Sessoms on a 35-yard touchdown pass. The Bears lined up for the extra point, but Dembry pulled the ball away on the hold and found Bond wide open in the endzone for the conversion, cutting the Rocky Mount lead to 16-15.

After a couple of solid defensive stands for both teams, Rocky Mount mounted a 52-yard drive midway through the second quarter.

Tyler connected with Dean on a 49-yard pass play that got the ball to the one-yardline. The Bears pushed them backwards to the two, but Tyler scored with 7:08 to play. The conversion pass failed, leaving the Gryphons ahead 22-15.

The scoring appeared to be over when Rocky Mount got the ball back on their own 42-yardline with just over a minute to play in the half, but Gryphon coach B.W. Holt had other ideas. Rocky Mount went to the airways and Tyler hit Bynum who scampered the remainder of the 58 yards to provide the final touchdown of the first half. Dean added the two-point conversion to give the Gryphons a 30-15 halftime lead.

All totaled, Rocky Mount recorded 405 yards of total offense. Tyler accounted for more than half of it with 188 yards passing and 25 yards rushing. Bynum was the leading rusher for the Gryphons with 88 yards on 19 carries.

Hertford County put up 302 yards of total offense, led by 101 yards rushing by Dembry, who also had 32 yards passing. Sessoms had 85 yards rushing on the night on nine carries.

The third consecutive loss by the Bears means they will travel to Elizabeth City next week to open Northeastern Coastal Conference play with a 2-3 overall record.