Rocky Mount upends HCHS

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 14, 2007

AHOSKIE – Lost: football.

If found, return to: Hertford County High School.

The Bears opened last night’s football game with Rocky Mount High School by kicking off to the Gryphons. They spent the rest of the night looking for the football.

Using a patented misdirection offense, Rocky Mount racked up 28 first half points and cruised to an easy 60-28 win over the previously unbeaten Hertford County Bears.

While the Gryphons were using misdirection to keep the ball out of Hertford County’s hands, the Bears were having a tough time keeping it when they were offense, surrendering two fumbles and two interceptions.

The Gryphon scoring started early as Brian Goodwin returned the opening kickoff 88 yards to put Rocky Mount ahead before a snap had even been taken from scrimmage.

The Bears appeared ready to make a game of it, however, marching 80 yards in eight plays to answer the Rocky Mount score when Antonio Vaughan went in from 10 yards out on fourth down and four for the HCHS score. Vaughan added the conversion and HCHS held their only lead of the night at 8-6.

From there, the wheels fell off for the Bears. Rocky Mount answered in short order, driving 80 yards in just four snaps from scrimmage. The Gryphons had three plays for more than 15 yards or more, including the 25-yard score from running back Marquavis Alston. The conversion was good when Hiawatha Bunn went in from three yards out making it 14-8.

The Bears gave every indication they would try to keep up their end of the offensive onslaught in the first quarter, driving to the Rocky Mount 32-yardline thanks to three eight-yard pickups by Markee White.

The drive stalled there, however, with a penalty and two incomplete passes forcing the Bears to punt. The snap on that punt sailed over Richard Burns head, but the junior kicker recovered and got the ball off from inside Bear territory, resulting in a net punt of 16 yards.

The Gryphons took just moments before they found the endzone again, going 80 yards on nine plays, capped by Bunn’s seven-yard scamper to paydirt at the 7:30 mark of the second quarter.

After forcing the Bears to punt again, Rocky Mount set sail on a 68-yard drive that took just four plays as they again found paydirt. This time it was Derek Hagans who scored from 29 yards out. Nick Hahula added the PAT and Rocky Mount led 28-8.

The Gryphons almost scored again in the first half when the Bears were forced to punt and Burns again had to chase down an errant snap. This time the right-footed kicker booted the ball with his left foot just before getting hit, but was only able to get it to the Bears’ 29-yardline.

Rocky Mount drove to the one, but didn’t score before time expired.

HCHS came out strong in the second half getting a kickoff return to their own 47-yardline and scoring nine plays later to cut into the Rocky Mount lead.

The score came when White plunged in from one yard out with 5:55 to play in the third quarter. Burns added the PAT to make it 28-15.

The Bear defense appeared to be playing better as well when they stopped the Gryphons for a total of five yards on the first two plays from scrimmage.

From there, it went downhill. Alston rumbled 39 yards for the score at the 4:26 mark of the third quarter and set up what would be the end of any HCHS comeback.

After Hahula’s kick, the Bears got the ball back trailing 35-15. On the next three possessions, HCHS had two fumbles and an interception, all leading to quick Rocky Mount scores.

The Gryphons scored from 11 yards out when Hagans scored at 4:01 and then Donovan Sinclair went four yards after an interception with 1:26 to play.

The final score came when the Bears fumbled again and Atarius Farmer scored at the 1:08 mark of the third quarter. The result was a 54-15 lead for Rocky Mount.

HCHS added a score at the 8:42 mark of the fourth quarter when Shea Tann went in from three yards out, capping a seven-play, 68-yard drive.

The Bears scored again late in the fourth quarter when Vaughan hooked up with Darnell Vaughan on a 31-yard play. Burns added the PAT to make it 54-28.

All told, the Bears gave up 423 total yards of offense while putting together 281 yards of their own.

The Gryphons added a meaningless touchdown with 2:06 to play. The PAT failed and the final score was established.

HCHS has little time to lick their wounds as they have to prepare for next week’s Northeastern Coastal Conference opener at Northeastern.