Falcons take small step with big win

Published 2:52 pm Saturday, September 12, 2009

CREEKSVILLE – A big win, but a small step.

Bertie High School claimed a 47-0 victory here last night (Friday) in the first matchup in more than a decade between the Falcons and Northampton County High School – East.

Still, the win was the first of the season and only a small step in the direction fourth-year skipper Tony Hoggard wants to see his team go.

“I’m satisfied with the victory,” Hoggard said. “It’s a step in the right direction, but we have to build on it as we head into next week. The games will continue to get tougher each week.”

The Falcons, sporting a new shotgun style offense, wasted little time getting on the board early Friday, scoring on their third play from scrimmage to take the lead they held on to from wire to wire.

The Falcons’ defense held the Rams to a three-and-out to start the game and then, after a Northampton-East punt, Bertie took over on their own 35-yardline.

It took just three plays to find paydirt, however, as the Falcons picked up a first down on their each snap. Bertie quarterback Keon Moore started the drive by connecting with Pashon Cherry on a 16-yard gain. That was followed by a 32-yard scamper from Darius Moody.

Corbin Rascoe put the exclamation point on the drive with a 13 yard scamper to the endzone and Bertie led 6-0 with 9:17 to play in the first quarter.

The Rams moved the football on their next drive, but a fumble at their own 45-yardline was recovered by Bertie’s Javier Williams.

Moore picked up seven yards from there and then Moody moved the ball to the 27-yardline before a holding penalty backed the Falcons up to the 40.

Moody picked up 14 yards on the next play and then Rascoe added six to get the ball to the 10-yardline. From there, Moody scored on the next play and then added the two-point conversion to give Bertie a 14-0 lead with 5:07 still to play in the first quarter.

Penalties kept both teams from moving the football over the next several minutes until the Rams drove deep into Bertie territory early in the second quarter.

Laquan Jacobs returned a Bertie punt 14 yards to the Falcon 26-yardline late in the first quarter. Three plays later, quarterback Travis Wiggins combined with Jacobs to move the ball to the 13. A penalty moved the ball backwards and left the Rams facing fourth down.

The home team attempted a 32-yard field goal, but the snap was low and the holder was forced to fall on the football, giving the Falcons the ball at their own 26-yardline.

The Falcons were held, however, and forced to punt and then returned the favor to the Rams.

The Northampton punt left Bertie with good field position as they took over on the Rams 26-yardline. On the next play from scrimmage, Rascoe ripped off a 23-yard gainer to the three-yardline. Moody then scored from that point. Bryce Cullipher added the PAT and Bertie led 21-0 with 3:48 to play in the second quarter.

Northampton appeared ready to answer on their next drive, moving the ball from their own 27-yardline to near midfield, but a fumble was picked up by Bertie’s William Jenkins at the 28-yardline. The junior defensive lineman then rumbled the distance to the goal line to score his first-ever varsity touchdown. The conversion kick was blocked, but Bertie led 27-0 with 1:54 to play in the first half.

The Falcons weren’t through, however, as they held Northampton to a three-and-out and then Moody broke off a 30-yard punt return to give the Falcons the football at the Northampton 30-yardline with three seconds left in the second quarter.

Moore then promptly connected with Isaiah Allen on a 30-yard strike to give the Falcons another score. Cullipher tacked on the extra point to give Bertie a 34-0 halftime edge.

The Falcons scored again in the third quarter when Moody rumbled 17 yards to paydirt with 3:30 to play in the period. The conversion kick by Cullipher was good and the Falcons led 41-0.

Cullipher had the opportunity to attempt a 40-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter, but the kick came up just short.

The last score of the night for Bertie came with the reserves in the contest.

That group put together a seven-play, 45-yard drive to tack on the final score. Freshman Jaquil Hafiz highlighted the drive with runs of 12 and nine yards while Alfred Saulsbury added a key 15-yard gainer.

Hafiz scored the touchdown with 2:03 to play in the game on a four-yard score. The extra point was blocked, establishing the 47-0 final.

Bertie put together nearly 300 yards of total offense, 252 of which came on the ground. Moody was the leading rusher, carrying the ball 12 times for 105 yards while Rascoe added seven carries for 69 yards.

Northampton-East gained 78 yards on the evening, 65 of which came on the ground.

The Falcons improved to 1-2 for the season as they head into next week’s home contest with Nash Central High School. The Rams dropped to 1-3 overall and will travel to Currituck next week.