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Bears maul Panthers

AHOSKIE – Those who had left the Bears for dead might want to rethink their position.

Hertford County, who had struggled through two losses and a pair of subpar performances, dominated last night’s (Friday) matchup with Pasquotank County High School from wire-to-wire.

The Bears rolled up 42 points, 357 yards and forced one turnover in the first half enroute to a 56-0 blowout of their visiting Northeastern Coastal Conference visitors.

The scoring started early for Hertford County when quarterback Antonio Vaughan rumbled 69 yards on the first play from scrimmage to give the Bears an early lead. Richard Burns added the first of eight PATs on the night to give HCHS a 7-0 lead with only 23 ticks off the clock.

After forcing a Pasquotank punt that went only four yards, the Bears were back on offense moments later. After Markee White picked up 10 yards on the second play from scrimmage, the Bears got one yard from Ronald Gatling.

Two plays later, Vaughan connected with Kysean Chamblee on an eight-yard scoring pass. Burns added the extra point and the Bears led 14-0 with 7:05 still to play in the first quarter.

The Bears found the endzone again just under four minutes later when Ronald Gatling went 48 yards untouched for a score. With Burns’ good kick, the Bears led 21-0 with 3:58 to play in the first quarter.

Pasquotank drove to the 30-yardline early in the second quarter, but failed on fourth down and surrendered the ball to HCHS.

The Bears completed a long pass on the second play from scrimmage, but it was called back due to holding. It didn’t take long for Vaughan to strike again, however, as he connected with Chamblee on a 65-yard gain down to the Panthers’ five-yardline. On the next play, Gatling went in for the score and that, coupled with Burns’ PAT, made it 28-0.

Pasquotank faked a punt on their next possession and it failed, leaving the Bears with field position at the Panthers’ 39-yardline.

White picked up seven yards on two carries before a penalty moved the ball back to the 42-yardline. The Bears made the best of it, however, as Shea Tann covered that distance on the next play. Burns added the conversion and the Bears claimed a 35-0 lead with 5:05 to play.

After forcing another Pasquotank punt, HCHS took possession on their own 18-yardline. Larry Raynor picked up six yards on the first play followed by a five-yard gain from backup quarterback Petey Boone.

After a two-yard loss on the next play, Boone connected with Montario Hunter on a 74-yard touchdown strike that accounted for the last score of the first half and gave the Bears a 42-0 lead.

The Panthers drove to the five-yardline of the Bears on their next possession, but Vaughan picked off a pass in the endzone to stop the threat and let the Bears take a commanding lead into the locker room.

The Bears took their first possession of the second half and ate up most of the third quarter clock during a 13-play, 90-yard drive. Vaughan capped the drive with a 35-yard sprint to paydirt with 3:27 in the third quarter.

Hertford County’s final score came early in the fourth quarter when backup running back Jamel Draughan scored from six yards out. Burns added the conversion to put the Bears ahead 56-0.

I thought we played a complete ball game tonight,” HCHS Head Football Coach Diego Hasty said. “Everybody stepped up. I thought we ran the ball well and threw the ball well. Defensively when you get a shutout, you know everyone did their job.”

After suffering their lowest output of the year last week at Currituck, the Bears had 570 yards of total offense last night, including 400 on the ground. Leading the way was Vaughan, who had six carries for 114 yards and Gatling who had nine carries for 79 yards.

Hertford County (7-2, 3-1) will take next week off before resuming league play on October 31 when they host First Flight.