Falcons roar back, beat Edenton
WINDSOR – Bertie High School was staring 0-1 and 1-4 squarely in the face.
Trailing 21-18 in the third quarter, it appeared the Falcons could be headed for a second consecutive loss and a setback in their Northeastern Coastal Conference opener.
Bertie, however, bounced back, putting together two scoring drives in a row and adding another late score to blow past Edenton 41-21 here last night (Friday). The result is that the Falcons sit 2-3 overall, but stand tied atop the league standings at 1-0 along with Hertford County and Pasquotank County High School.
When all was said and done, the Falcons put two running backs over the century mark, gained 296 total yards and dominated the scoreboard.
All of that was very much in doubt about the middle of the third quarter, however. After leading 18-14 at the intermission, the Falcons gave up a 78-yard drive to Edenton and surrendered the lead.
The Aces took over on their own 22-yardline and marched the 78 yards on eight plays. Senior running back Daquan Ford got things going for Edenton with a 21-yard scamper that moved the ball near midfield.
Two plays later, Ford scampered 25 yards down to the Bertie 16-yardline. It took just two plays before he found paydirt on an eight-yard scamper. Josh Laverty added the Point After Touchdown and Edenton had gained a 21-18 lead.
Bertie came storming back, however, as after a long kickoff return, they set up shop at the Aces’ 47-yardline. An offsides penalty moved the pigskin to the 42 and from there, the Falcons made them pay as Darius Moody broke a pair of tackles and didn’t stop until he crossed the goal line. Bryce Cullipher added the extra point and the Falcons took the lead for good at 25-21.
On the next defensive series, the Falcons forced the Aces into a passing situation on third down and Tyler Reinhold found Dominique Rountree open, but Jaquil Hafiz broke it up and forced Edenton to punt.
The Falcons again made the most of the possession. After moving to the 23-yardline on an Aces’ penalty, the Falcons got a 30-yard gainer from Corbin Rascoe and a 26-yard run from Moody to move the football to the Edenton 21-yardline. On the next play from scrimmage, Rascoe covered the remaining distance to add to the Bertie lead. On the extra point, the ball was snapped high, but holder Torrence Mourning ran it in for the two-point conversion giving the Falcons a 33-21 edge with 4:42 remaining in the third quarter.
The Falcons quelled any thoughts of an Edenton comeback in the fourth quarter when they put together a seven-play, 53-yard drive for their final score. Quarterback Keon Moore kept the drive alive with a five-yard scamper on third-and-four early in the drive and then Rascoe scored from 32-yards out. Again the snap was high on the PAT, but Mourning again was able to score the two-point conversion, giving Bertie the 41-21 lead that turned into the final.
Bertie led early in the contest when they took their first possession and drive 78 yards on 10 plays. Moody had a key 17-yard scamper on the drive and Moore had another important third-down conversion on a quarterback keeper.
It was Moore who connected with Isaiah Allen on a 47-yard scoring strike to give the Falcons their first score. The PAT failed, but Bertie led 6-0 with 5:07 to play in the first quarter.
The advantage was short-lived, however, as Ford returned the ensuing kickoff 84 yards for a score. The conversion kick failed, but the Falcons were flagged for roughing the passer. After getting to move the ball to the one and a half for the penalty, the Aces called on Ford who scored the two-point conversion, giving Edenton an 8-6 lead.
The Falcons were forced to punt on their next possession, but the rolling kick hit an Edenton player and was recovered by Tyler Smallwood at the Aces’ 17-yardline.
Two plays later, Hafiz went 15 yards for a score. The run failed, but Bertie led 12-8 with 2:25 to play in the first.
After Lester Miller recovered an Edenton fumble and gave the Falcons the ball on the Aces’ 23-yardline, Bertie scored again. This time it was a 16-yard run by Rascoe. The conversion run again failed, but Bertie led 18-8.
Edenton closed to within 18-14 late in the second quarter when Reinhold hit Travis Elliott from seven yards out. The pass was tipped by the Falcons, but Elliott kept his eye on the ball and pulled it in.
Overall, the Falcons were led on the ground by Rascoe who had 169 yards on 16 carries. Moody added 110 yards on 11 carries.
Moore was 5-of-12 passing for 98 yards.
The Falcons will travel to Pasquotank County High School next Friday when they try to extend their spotless mark in the Northeastern Coastal Conference.