Bears rally, but can’t overcome Rocky Mt.

Published 12:29 pm Monday, September 5, 2011

AHOSKIE – Hertford County simply ran out of gas.

The Bears rallied to within six points of visiting Rocky Mount High School here Saturday night, but couldn’t force a punt in the final six minutes as the Gryphons held on for a 28-22 victory.

Rocky Mount broke a 14-all deadlock early in the fourth quarter. Rodquez Greene scored from five yards out to cap a 74-yard drive that took five plays for the Gryphons. The key play on the drive was a Mason Hines 54-yard run. The conversion failed, but Rocky Mount led 20-14.

The Bears appeared set to drive back down the field and even the game again on their next possession. Quarterback Dorrien Askew picked up eight yards and senior tailback Aaron Thomas added another four as they drove across midfield.

On the next play, however, Mike Westry picked off a pass and returned it 74 yards to paydirt. The conversion was a pass from Hines to Westry and the Gryphons had a 28-14 lead with just 8:46 remaining in the contest.

Hertford County was anything but defeated, however, as the Bears came right back and drove 70 yards on seven plays to cut into the Rocky Mount lead.

Thomas started the drive with a 30-yard pickup and 15 more was added to the end of the run due to a late hit by Rocky Mount. The Bears then drove down the field until Lailun Majette plunged in from one yard out. Askew added the two-point conversion with his feet and the Bears were within 28-22 with just over six minutes left to play.

The Gryphons, however, ran out the clock thanks to an 11-play drive that started at their own 28-yardline and ended inside the Hertford County 20. The nail in the Hertford County coffin came at the 1:17 mark when Rocky Mount picked up a first down on a Hines run.

The game started with Rocky Mount taking an early lead. The Gryphons drove 78 yards on 10 plays to score on their first possession. Greene capped the drive with a seven-yard run to paydirt. The conversion failed, but Rocky Mount drew first blood with a 6-0 lead just five minutes into the contest.

Hertford County came back on their first possession, driving 67 yards on 14 plays. The Bears had six plays on the drive that went for more than seven yards.

After driving to the 24-yardline, the Bears were set up on second-and-eight when the snap sailed over Askew’s head, but the junior quarterback quickly covered it after a 10-yard loss. The Bears got that loss and more back on the next play when Askew connected with Thomas for a 22-yard gainer down to the 12-yardline.

Two plays later, Askew scored on a five-yard run to tie the game at 6-all with 18 seconds left in the first quarter.

The excitement on the Hertford County sideline didn’t last long, however, as Ahmad Harrell returned the kickoff 83 yards for a score. Rashawn Harris then added the two-point conversion and Rocky Mount led 14-6.

The Bears again put together a drive to respond to Rocky Mount’s score. The Bears moved from their own 22-yardline to the Gryphons 24-yardline, but came up short on a fourth down play and turned the ball over on downs.

The same thing happened to the visiting team on the next drive as Rocky Mount drove 55 yards, only to give the ball back on downs.

The two teams exchanged punts with the Bears getting the ball back with less than a minute to play in the first half. HCHS took a shot down field, but Askew was sacked in his backfield to end the second quarter.

The third quarter started with an exchange of punts before the Bears got the equalizer.

A 21-yard gainer by Askew and an 18-yard pickup by Thomas helped the Bears move  the ball down the field. Thomas then capped the drive with a three-yard surge into the endzone. Askew connected with Darius White on the two-point conversion and tied the game at 14-all.

That set up Rocky Mount’s late run to victory.

The Bears (1-2) will be at home again this week when they host Nash Central at 7:30 p.m. Friday.