Bears handle First Flight

Published 12:08 am Saturday, October 30, 2010

AHOSKIE – Scary.

Hertford County may have been ‘tricked’ early in falling behind to First Flight on Senior Night, but then they ‘treated’ their fans to a nice comeback and notched their 7th victory of the season, 30-14, over the Nighthawks of First Flight.

Petey Boone made it ten touchdowns on the year as he capped an 84-yard drive with under 30 seconds to play in the first half to tie the score at 7-7; then engineered two more scoring drives in the second half as the Bears rolled up 369 yards of total offense.

The fans had barely settled into their seats good after the opening kickoff before First Flight struck for the night’s first score.

Corey Byrum passed 66 yards to Brenden Walsh on the first play from scrimmage; then after a short run Byrum hit Fleet Jernigan from ten yards out for the first touchdown of the night and after the kick a 7-0 lead for the Nighthawks.

The Bears went three-and-out on their first posession and First Flight then began to eat up some clock-time by grinding it out with their ground game.  However, the Hertford County defense held the ‘Hawks deep within their own territory and First Flight was forced to punt as the Bears’ began their second possession of the night.

Things did not begin well for the Bears on the series as they were hit with four penalties on the drive; and then on just the fourth play junior running back Neil Outlaw suffered an elbow injury, writhing on the field in pain before he was ambulanced to Roanoke-Chowan Hospital and did not return to the game.

The quarter ended with the Bears still failing to break thru on the scoreboard and trailing by a touchdown.

On Hertford County’s first series of the second quarter the Bears marched to midfield where Boone then attempted to connect with Justin Watson on a post pattern, but the ball was intercepted by First Flight in the end zone.

The Nighthawks drive stalled, allowing the Bears to get the ball one last time before the break and less than two minutes to go in the half.

Starting on their own sixteen, Hertford County marched to the 22-yard line in ten plays before Boone scampered in from 22 yards out on a quarterback keeper.  The Brandon Warren kick knotted the score at 7-7 at the break.

The second half did not begin well for the Bears as Boone suffered his second pick of the night on the opening drive. However, First Flight returned the favor, as Boone – playing on defense – picked Byrum off at midfield.

And that’s when the jack-o-lantern smiled.

Two quick passes put the Bears on the 18-yard line of First Flight before Aaron Thomas took a handoff and ran between the tackles to the end zone for Hertford County’s first lead, 13-7.

The Nighthawks were bottled up again and had to punt it away.  This time, however, Bears coach Scott Privott was content to keep it on the ground.  The biggest play of the drive: a

55-yard run by Boone down to the three yard line where Devin Vaughn did the rest and the Bears were in control, 21-7, after going for a two-point conversion.

In the fourth quarter First Flight got back on the scoreboard and pulled within seven points, 21-14, but Hertford County drove once again into the red zone before settling for a 27-yard Warren field goal and pushed the lead back to ten, 24-14.

They salted the game away on the very next drive when Justin Watson intercepted Byrum at the First Flight 27-yard line and returned it to the end zone to make it 30-14 and drive the final stake thru the Nighthawks’ heart.

Boone finished with 163 yards rushing and passed for 65 for a total of 228 total yards.  Aaron Thomas had 89 yards on theground on ten carries.  It was also Privott’s 20th win as Bears coach.

Hertford County is now 7-3 and 4-1 in the Northeastern Coastal Conference.  They’ll end the regular season next Friday night in Windsor at Roy L. Bond Jr. Stadium against rival, Bertie.

(By Gene Motley, Sports Writer and Billy Harrell, Senior Sports Writer)