Bears beat Bertie
Published 12:44 am Saturday, August 29, 2009
WINDSOR – Hertford County bounded out to an early lead that became 21 points at halftime and never looked back as they took a 34-14 non-conference win over rival, Bertie, Friday night, making first-year head coach Scott Privott 2-0 in his inaugural campaign.
Senior quarterback Antonio Vaughan passed for one touchdown and ran for three more scores, plus a two-point conversion, as the Bears easily dominated a Falcons squad in what was Bertie’s first game of the season. Vaughn finished with 206 total yards as Hertford County won for the second straight time on Bertie soil.
Ron Gatling accounted for Hertford County’s other score.
Junior Darius Moody was the workhorse for Bertie as he tallied 51 yards on the ground and another 62 yards receiving, including Bertie’s first touchdown. Senior Keon Moore — making his first start at quarterback — threw for one touchdown and ran for a two-point conversion.
“We won but we didn’t play as well as I’d have liked,” said Privott after the game. “Don’t get me wrong, but we played just enough to win and if we play like this the next time we meet them the score will be different.”
The Bears were also, well, ‘bearish’, on defense with a blocked punt to set up Hertford County’s first touchdown. They also added four sacks, forced three Bertie fumbles and held the Falcons’ passing game in check until the fourth quarter.
“I saw some good things,” said Bertie coach Tony Hoggard. “Fundamental things we have to still work on. There were the dropped passes, giving them good field position that led to too many easy scores, and defensively we gave up too many big plays.
Indeed, all of Vaughan’s scoring runs came when it looked like the Falcons’ defense had him pinned in the pocket. But the senior speedster used a combination of shifty moves and acceleration to the outside once he broke thru the defensive seams to score on runs of 39, 38, and 38 yards respectively.
“I told you,” added Privott, “as he goes — we go. He’s a special player and I’m just glad to coach him.”
Hertford County scored on their first possession, blocking a Bertie punt deep in Falcon territory that gave the Bears the ball on the Falcons’ 12-yard line. Two plays later, Vaughan hit Darrell Vaughan in the corner of the end zone and then ran in the two-point conversion on what looked like a designed fake of a kick.
Leading 8-0 early in the second quarter, Vaughan appeared to have scored on a 29 yard scamper down the sideline, instead he was hit at the one-yard line and fumbled with Bertie’s Javier Williams making the recovery.
But the Falcons could not take advantage, going just 24 yards on seven plays then botching a punt that gave the Bears the ball at Bertie’s 36 yard line. Six plays later, despite losing three yards, Vaughan used a play-fake and scurried 39 yards on a keeper for his second score of the night and a 14-0 Hertford County lead after the extra point was missed.
The Bears’ final score of the first half came after John-Jon Rascoe recovered a Bertie fumble and with just twelve ticks left on the clock before the half, Vaughan again found first the sideline and then the end zone for a 21-0 Hertford County lead at the half.
After a scoreless third quarter, Ron Gatling opened the fourth quarter with Hertford County’s fourth score of the night. After a three-and-out for Bertie the Bears fumbled on a punt at the 12-yard line and the Falcons’ Moody took it in to erase the goose-egg on the board and make it, 27-6.
Vaughan picked up his fourth score of the night to make it 34-6 before Bertie scored on their last possession: a 17 yard strike from Moore to Isaiah Allen to make for the final 20-point margin.
“We’ll try and iron out some things like our blocking before we face Nash Central next Thursday,” said Privott, “but we have to play up to our potential, that’s key for us.
“A lot penalties and a lot of busted assignments,” said Hoggard, who’s Falcons host 4A New Bern next Friday night, “but this was just the first game of the season and we’ll get better.”