Northampton outlasts Gates
CREEKSVILLE – Northampton-East held off Gates County, giving their homecoming crowd something to cheer about with a 13-12 Tar-Roanoke Conference win last night (Friday).
In a game that saw eight fumbles, 115 penalty yards and two kickoffs returned for touchdowns, Gates had a chance to steal the victory.
After forcing East to go three-and-out the Red Barons took over on their own 37-yardline with just over one minute remaining in the fourth quarter.
Jamal Dixon, under coverage, caught Graham Hobbs’ pass for a 19-yard gain.’
Dewayne Deloatch broke up Hobbs’ pass on the next play, but the fourth personal foul penalty on the Rams moved the chains to the Rams 19-yardline.
Three incomplete passes later Hobbs launched a “Hail Mary” as time expired. The ball fell short of any receivers as East fans erupted with cheers for the home team.
East missed an opportunity to score early in the first quarter. After recovering a Gates fumble quarterback Corey Neal faked the handoff and sprinted 39 yards before being knocked out of bounds at the Gates nine-yardline.
Three plays netted only four yards and the field goal unit took the field. The kick was short and Gates’ Jeremy Smith picked up the live ball and ran it back to the 29
The Red Barons were unable to reach the endzone and punted the ball away.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Rams offense mounted a drive, moving the ball to the Gates five-yardline. On third-and-goal Cody Lockley wrenched the ball away from Neal and sprinted toward the end one, but was stopped short of scoring. A penalty brought the ball back out to the Rams 36.
Hobbs connected with Marcus Costen for a gain of 31 yards. Three plays later Jamal Dixon muscled through for the four yard score. The conversion run failed as Gates took the 6-0 lead 1:12 left in the first half.
Eric Branch left the defense behind as he took the ensuing kickoff 86 yards for the Rams touchdown. The extra point attempt failed but the teams went into halftime with the score tied at six.
It took just 90 seconds for East to score in the third quarter. On third down of their first possession Je’Wan Boone carried the ball 66 yards to paydirt. The extra point attempt sailed through the uprights, giving East a 13-6 lead.
This time it was Gates scoring on the kickoff. Junior Damien Gatling raced 84 yards for the touchdown but the Rams stopped the conversion run to preserve a one point advantage, 13-12.
That one point would be the difference as East took their third win of the season.
The Rams were led by Neal with 81 yards on 14 carries. Hyshawn Hewett carried 13 times for 75 yards and Boone added 70 yards on eight carries.
Gatling led Gates with 47 yards on 20 carries.