New Bern rallied by Bertie

Published 11:49 am Saturday, September 5, 2009

WINDSOR – Bertie got in shots to stagger the giant, but could not knock him out.

The Falcons led 7-0 and 14-7, but New Bern High School rallied for a 28-14 non-conference football win here Friday night.

Twice Bertie took the lead, but both times the Bears came back and tied it up before scoring a touchdown each in the third and fourth quarters to grab the victory.

Bertie had a chance early, but couldn’t capitalize. The Bears attempted a fake punt at their own 17-yardline, but the pass fell incomplete. Bertie, however, couldn’t’ do anything with it, losing two yards and the ground before surrendering the football after two incomplete passes.

The teams exchanged a pair of punts, but the Falcons got a break when New Bern was called for roughing the punter late in the first quarter and took the ball back first-and-10 at the Bears’ 47-yardline.

Six plays later, the Falcons found the endzone when quarterback Keon Moore scampered 14 yards to paydirt. Bryce Cullipher added the extra point and the Falcons had a seven-point edge with 10:51 to play in the second quarter.

BHS repaid the miscue later in the second quarter when Thomas Eubanks intercepted an aerial for the Bears and gave New Bern the ball at their own 45-yardline.

It took the Bears just four plays to deadlock the score as senior running back Josh Moore scampered 36 yards to the endzone which, coupled with a Mike Jones extra point, tied the score at 7-all with 6:15 to play in the third quarter.

The Falcons drove all the way to New Bern 39-yardline on their next drive, but a penalty forced them to punt the ball away.

New Bern capitalized, putting together a drive that went all the way to the Bertie 21-yardline, but Bertie junior linebacker Lester Miller picked up a New Bern fumble and returned it 66 yards for a score to give the Falcons the lead.

Cullipher again added the PAT and Bertie maintained a 14-7 advantage with 2:29 to play in the first half.

New Bern, however, responded by driving 60 yards on their next series, capped by a 26-yard run to paydirt by quarterback Jerrell Armstrong. Jones again added the conversion and the score was deadlocked at 14-all with 40 seconds left in the first half.

New Bern appeared to be poised to take the lead for the first time midway through the third quarter when the Bears drove to the Falcon 16-yardline, but a missed field goal left the game tied.

On the next possession, Moore found Pashon Cherry for a 12-yard gain on first down, but three straight incompletion passes forced the Falcons to punt.

After an exchange of punts, New Bern set up shop at their own 38-yardline. Moore then had back-to-back carries of 15 and 12 yards respectively before Karon Simmons broke off a 15-yard gainer.

The Falcons forced a fourth down, but Armstrong found Javarus McConner on a 25-yard gainer that took the ball to the three-yardline. From there, Moore carried for the score and that, combined with the Jones kick, gave New Bern a 21-14 lead.

The Bears added one late touchdown when Armstrong scored on a one-yard plunge to cap an 80-yard, seven-play drive. That score came with 2:31 to play. Jones again added the PAT to make it 28-14.

New Bern amassed 378 yards of total offense, 328 of which came on the ground. Moore led the way with 30 carries for 169 yards.

Bertie, however, had more success through the airways as they passed for 53 yards and ran for 46. Moore had two completions – one for 41 and the other for 12 yards.

The win moved New Bern to 2-1 this season under the tutelage of Bertie High School alum Bobby Curlings. The Bears will return home next week to host Northside (Jacksonville).

The Falcons, meanwhile, fall to 0-2 to start the year. They will take to the road for the first time in 2009 next week when they travel to Northampton County High School – East.