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West storms to second round

GASTON – After getting crushed 65-0 by Northampton-West when the two clubs met in Leggett back on Oct. 21, North Edgecombe had one goal in mind this time around – at least put something besides a zero on their side of the scoreboard.

That plan failed here last night (Friday) where the high-powered Hurricanes offense scored first, scored last and tallied a bunch of points in-between en route to a 54-0 rout of the visiting Warriors during the opening round of the NCHSAA State 1A playoffs.

With the win, West improves to 11-1 overall and advances to the second round where the second-seeded ‘Canes will host #7 Roanoke in a 7:30 p.m. matchup next Friday (Nov. 18). Roanoke advanced by defeating #10 Lejeune, 28-20, last night.

NCHS-West junior quarterback Randy Turner proved to be the story in last night’s contest, throwing for three touchdowns and rushing for another. All totaled, Turner was 6-of-7 through the airwaves for 195 yards while adding 19 rushing yards on six carries.

Turner’s touch was obvious on the ‘Canes first snap from scrimmage. After West defender Rashaun Roberts pounced on a North Edgecombe fumble at the Warriors 27 yardline, Turner found a wide-open Keith Garner for a 27-yard touchdown on the very next play.

That same duo connected on an 85-yard paydirt strike at the 6:17 mark of the opening period. A Turner-to-Aljerald Butcher conversion pass upped the ‘Canes lead to 14-0.

That lead doubled to 28-0 in the final five minutes of the first half. There, Mack Parker capped a short 30-yard drive (following a Warriors punt from their own endzone) with his 10-yard sprint to the endzone.

After another punt by the visitors, West launched a drive from their own 49 yardline inside the final minute of the first half. Turner quickly went to work, airing a 32-yard pass to Titus Lee followed by a 19-yard scoring strike to Chris Smith with 17 ticks left on the first half clock. Turner and Mack Parker connected on the conversion pass to account for the 28-0 halftime edge.

West didn’t hang its hat on that advantage as the ‘Canes scored three times in the third quarter and added another in the fourth to complete the rout.

In the third, Turner’s two yard TD run, set-up by Quentin Turner’s fumble recovery at the Warriors 23 yardline, a nine-yard scoring scamper around the left end by Todd Squire and a one-yard TD pass from Antonio Manley to Lee staked the ‘Canes to a 48-0 lead by the end of the period.

Northampton-West rounded out the scoring on Dashawn Moody’s one-yard run with 4:33 left in the game.

The ‘Canes rang-up 460 yard of total offense. Other than Turner’s big night, Garner caught three passes good for 133 yards while Lee paced the ground attack with 96 yards on just eight carries.

Meanwhile, the NCHS-West defense surrendered yards through an eye-dropper as North Edgecombe managed only 119 total yards.