Pasquotank drops Falcons

Published 11:12 am Wednesday, October 13, 2010

WINDSOR – This one literally slipped through their hands.

Bertie High School fumbled twice at critical times Tuesday night and Pasquotank County High School made the most of the opportunities they received as the visiting Panthers claimed a 27-12 gridiron decision.

The most important of those miscues came with just under five minutes to play after the Falcons had forced a punt that would have given them the football down by a touchdown.

The fumble came after Bertie had its most impressive drive of the night, going 69 yards on seven plays to find paydirt.

Senior running back Corbin Rascoe led the drive for Bertie, pcking up 49 of the 69 yards, including a 41-yard jaunt that gave the Falcons possession at the 13-yardline of the Panthers.

On the next play, sophomore Jaquil Hafiz rumbled 13 yards for the score. The conversion run failed, but Bertie had closed within 20-12 with 8:04 remaining in the contest.

The Panthers moved the football for a first down on their next drive, but a bad pitch saw them lose nine yards and they didn’t recover and had to punt the football away.

The new life the Falcons received was short-lived, however, as the football was fumbled on the punt return and recovered by Pasquotank.

It took just two plays for the Panthers to make the Falcons pay for the mistake when Jaquan Respass went in from 12 yards out. Joseph Deaver added the extra point and the Panthers led 27-12 with just 3:54 to play.

Bertie moved the football to the Pasquotank 45-yardline, but couldn’t convert on fourth down. The Panthers took over and ran out the clock to preserve their spotless league mark.

Early in the game, Bertie got a break which led to the first to score.

The Falcons capitalized on a Lester Miller fumble recovery to find the endzone.

Miller gave Bertie possession at the nine-yardline and the Falcons took just two plays to score. Thomas Perry picked up five yards on the first play from scrimmage and then quarterback Malcolm Cherry called his own number for a four-yard score. The conversion kick failed, but Bertie led 6-0 with 4:37 to play.

The Panthers answered in quick fashion, however, driving 53 yards in just five plays to tie the contest. Respass had runs of 20 and 35 yards during the drive before Devonte Cummings punched it in from five yards out. Deaver added the PAT to give Pasquotank a 7-6 lead.

On the next possession, the Falcons faced a fourth-and-one from their own 33-yardline and opted to try to pick up the first down. The Pasquotank defense, however, stuffed the running play at the line of scrimmage and gave the Panther offense possession of the football.

The Panthers made short work of the 33 yards, scoring in seven plays. Respass again had two big runs, going for 14 and 13 yards. It was Cummings who found the endzone, scoring from 12 yards out. The conversion kick by Deaver was good and the Panthers led 14-6 with 11:16 to play in the second quarter.

The other costly mistake by Bertie came in the waning seconds of the first half.

After driving from their own 18-yardline down to the Panther 28, Bertie backup quarterback Tykevis Bazemore connected with Pashon Cherry on a completion that took the ball inside the redzone. Cherry stretched to make sure he picked up the first down and the Panthers stripped the ball and recovered the fumble ending the threat.

In the third quarter, the Falcons fumbled again, this time at the PCHS 38-yardline and Pasquotank’s defense recovered the loose pigskin.

The Panthers set up shop there and drove 62 yards to paydirt. Cummings had the key run on the drive, picking up 19 yards on one play. Quarterback Kyle Odum had the score, running in from one yard out. The conversion kick was blocked, but Pasquotank led 20-6.

That set up the late run by Bertie and the PCHS touchdown that sealed the win for the visiting squad.

Bertie drops to 2-6 overall and 1-2 in the Northeastern Coastal Conference while Pasquotank improved to 5-2 and a perfect 3-0 in the conference. The Falcons take to the road Friday and look to rebound against Currituck County High School.

Pasquotank, meanwhile, makes another visit to the Roanoke-Chowan region as they travel to Hertford County High School for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff Friday.