Bertie blanks Hawks By Gene Motley 10/19/2007 WINDSOR – At halftime the Bertie Highnbsp;Schoolnbsp;band played ‘Never Too Much’nbsp;– the old R–Bnbsp;ballad by the late Luther Vandross. It could hav
Published 12:00 am Friday, October 19, 2007
WINDSOR – At halftime the Bertie High School band played ‘Never Too Much’ – the old R-&-B ballad by the late Luther Vandross.
It could have also been the theme song for how senior football player Desmond Williams ended his regular season home career as he helped engineer a 40-0 shutout win by the Falcons over First Flight Friday night in Windsor.
Williams was spectacular: with 14-for-18 passing for 181 yards and a pair of touchdowns while rushing eleven times for 109 yards and another touchdown. Fellow senior Darrius Wesson, had an 80-yard punt return for a score, while another senior, Kevin Swain, had 50 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns, and junior running back Raymond Hooker had 72 yards on nine carries. About the only place the Falcons were faulty was in their extra-point attempts where they converted only two of six chances.
While it was a great game for the fans on Senior Night, Coach Tony Hoggard — who’s team will have an off-week next Friday before the showdown with Hertford County November 2nd and the Northeastern Coastal Conference championship on the line — was pleased with the win streak that’s now reached seven games in a row, he was not quick to lavish too much praise on his squad.
&uot;If we’re going to be champions,&uot; said Hoggard after the game, &uot;we’ve got to go back to basics, and that’s what we’re going to do for the next two weeks.&uot;
While it might not have been a praise-worthy game for the coaches, the fans could hardly complain about the offensive performance of the Falcons who jumped out to an early lead, and didn’t let up in getting the shutout.
On their first possession Bertie moved the ball 54 yards from their 39 to the First Flight four-yard line, but a pair of Williams incompletions left the Falcons short of a score when they went for it on fourth down and turned the ball over.
It did not remain in Nighthawk hands for long as First Flight quarterback J.J. Allen was scrambled on his second play from scrimmage and fumbled the ball away to the Falcons and Wesson fell on it at the 12-yard line. One play later, Swain danced his way between the tackles for the first score and a 6-0 Bertie lead.
After First Flight failed to make a first down following the kickoff and punted the ball away, the Falcons went back to work as junior Raymond Hooker rambled 50 yards from the Bertie 44 to the Falcons’ six-yard line, and two quick Swain runs produced the second score for Bertie on the night and a 12-0 lead.
Despite getting great field position to begin their drives for most of the night, the Nighthawks were stifled time and again by the Bertie defense as linemen Willie Reid and Travis Bond controlled the line of scrimmage for the Falcons. First Flight punted the ball away and Bertie began it’s fifth drive on it’s own 46 yard line. That’s when Williams rolled out to his right and found Khirye Jones on a swift sprint down the right sideline and the senior receiver cradled in the pass for a touchdown and Bertie led 18-0.
The Falcons got one more score just before the end of the half when Williams hooked up with Jones again, this time from ten yards out on a corner pattern in the back of the end zone to make it 24-0, Bertie at halftime.
Bertie held First Flight on defense after the second half kickoff and the Falcons began their first drive of the third quarter following a punt at their own ten yard line. Williams found Wesson on a short pass for a ten-yard gain and on the very next play Williams, finding his receivers covered, tucked the ball in on a keeper and found a seam on the left sideline and ran 66 yards for his third score of the night and a 30-0 Bertie lead. The Falcons finally converted an extra point conversion and lead 32-0 just three minutes into the half.
After a pair of stalled drives and a duo of punts by both teams, Bertie took advantage of the Nighthawks next punt attempt. The kick bounced a couple of times in front of Wesson who picked it up at the Bertie 20-yard line and seized advantage of an opening down the right sideline, broke a couple of tackles, picked up his blockers and let his feet do the rest for an 80-yard punt return for a touchdown. The conversion made it 40-0 and following a scoreless fourth quarter by both teams the Falcons had their fifth conference win in a row and raising their overall record to 7-3.
&uot;We’ve got some guys with some minor bruises,&uot; said Hoggard afterward, &uot;and we’re going to get them healed up. After that, we’ll work on our conditioning, back off our hitting a little bit in practice and refocus on some individual skills&uot;
&uot;The (seven-game win) streak is still alive. I understand how kids can get a little complacent, but in order to make a run at this championship we’ve got to fine-tune what we do week in and week out and understand it’s a bigger picture we’re after.&uot;
Hoggard says he won’t relax for the off week, and neither will his team. &uot;We’re going back to boot-camp&uot;, he said with a sly grin, &uot;the kids’re going to feel like it’s August all over again. I don’t want to share a conference championship.&uot;