East misses win wide right

Published 12:25 am Saturday, August 21, 2010

EDENTON – Wide right.

In a battle of first-year coaches the words former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden feared most in the football language came down to the final minutes as Edenton –playing its first home opener since 2007 – edged Northampton-East, 14-13, last night (Friday).

With under two minutes to go in the contest and the home-team Aces driving deep in their own territory trying to milk the clock, Edenton fumbled and Northampton-East recovered.

Three plays later, Rams senior Je’Wuan Boone rumbled in from five yards out with a minute-forty to go and got his team within one.

George Privott, the former Hertford County High assistant, making his debut as coach of the Rams, opted to go for the tie and Northampton lined up for the equalizer.

Quarterback Lashawn Pitman took the snap, set the ball lining up the laces, but the low line-drive effort of Kyshawn Gaskins sailed just to the right of the uprights.

Edenton then ran out the clock, picking up an all-important first down and escaped to make their first-time head coach, former Camden High product, Wes Mattera, the winner.

“We gave them all they wanted,” said Privott after the game.  “There’s no way anyone but the folks here wearing blue thought it would be this close and we even expected to win.

“I’m just so proud of my guys,” he added.  “They stuck it out there despite the heat giving us some cramping issues. It’s a ‘W’ to us.”

Northampton-East got on the scoreboard first as Gaskins took the opening kickoff 68 yards to the Edenton 27.

Pitman then directed a four-play drive that ended with a tight spiral to sophomore receiver, Travis Wiggins, who sidestepped a defender and raced 29 yards to paydirt.  Gaskins’ kick made it 7-0, Rams.

Edenton got on the board on their second series as quarterback Tyler Reinhold guided the Aces to midfield and on the next play pitched to Jamez Moore, who swept to the outside and rambled 49 yards down the sideline for six.

On the extra point attempt, the Aces lined up for a kick, but Deshon took a direct snap and scooted through the defense for two and an 8-7 Edenton lead.

It stayed that way through the next 32 minutes of game time until with under 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter, Edenton went up again when Reinhold got his second scoring strike of the night on an 11-yard post route to Moore. The kick failed and it was 14-7.

Despite blocking a punt two series’ later that gave the Rams the ball inside the 20-yard line, Northampton drove to the three before fumbling.  Edenton gave it right back on the  next play to set up the exciting finish.

“It’s nothing but a blessing to make the mistakes we made and still get a win,” said Mattera, “but I’ll take an ugly win over a loss any day.”

“A 1-A team almost beat a 2-A team tonight,” said Privott.  “When we start playing on our own level I think we’re going to surprise some people.”