Falcons roll past Panthers

Published 11:47 pm Friday, September 9, 2011

WINDSOR – Bertie scored like Chicago Democrats used to vote – early and often.

The Falcons bounced back from their first loss of the season with a 45-0 shellacking of visiting KIPP-Pride here Friday night, finishing the non-conference season 2-1-1.

Bertie, in fact took just four plays to find the endzone on their first possession, which was set up by a Al Ameen Sharif 40-yard kickoff return that gave the Falcons possession on the KIPP 35-yardline.

After two short gains, Jonathan Wilson moved the ball down to the 26-yardline on a 13-yard scamper. On the next play, Bertie quarterback David Watford pitched the ball to Malcolm Cherry who went the remaining 26 yards to paydirt. The PAT came up short, but the Falcons led 6-0 with just two minutes and two seconds off the first quarter clock.

The Falcons forced a Panther punt and then set up shop at their own 42-yardline. Eric Bowen had a six-yard gain on first down followed by a Sharif seven-yard carry and a 10-yard scamper by Wilson.

It was again Cherry who found paydirt, however, as he went 35 yards on the next play and scored with 5:39 remaining in the first quarter. Wilson’s extra point was good and Bertie led 13-0.

The Falcon defense got a turnover on the next possession by the Panthers. Lavonta Cofield picked off the aerial and returned it 30 yards to the midfield stripe. Cherry and Wilson each had 15-yard carries on the drive and the Falcons sealed the score when Marquise Holley scored from eight yards out. The conversion failed, but Bertie led 19-0 with 1:08 to play in the first period.

The Panthers got to near midfield on their next drive, but Holley made a tackle for loss on fourth down to give Bertie the football at the Panther 28-yardline.

The Falcons wasted little time moving the ball as Watford connected with Cherry on a 12-yard gain before Sharif carried for 24 yards. Two plays later, Bowen scored on a one-yard plunge. Wilson added the extra point and the Falcons tallied a 26-0 advantage with 9:11 still to play in the second period.

Bertie added one more score before the first half came to a close.

The Falcons forced a punt which Cherry returned all the way to the Panther 20-yardline, but it was moved back to the 30 due to a holding call.

On the first play from scrimmage, Watford found Cherry for a seven-yard gain and then he connected with Wilson for a 23-yard score. The kick failed, but Bertie went into the halftime locker room up 32-0.

The Falcons fumbled away their first possession of the third quarter, but made the most of their second. After stopping KIPP at their own 46-yardline, Sharif took the handoff and went 46 yards to paydirt. The conversion failed, but Bertie held a comfortable 38-0 margin with two minutes remaining in the third quarter.

KIPP’s only real threat came late in the contest when they moved to the Bertie three-yard line, but Ashonti Bass picked up a fumble and returned it from the three-yard line to the Panther 48.

Second-year Falcon mentor Greg Watford sent in his backup offensive unit for the series and, after a couple of short gains, second string quarterback Tykevis Bazemore scampered 23 yards to move the ball to the 27-yardline.It took just three plays later before Bowen scored from 11 yards out. Wilson added the PAT and established the 45-0 final.

The Falcons finish the non-conference portion of their schedule with two wins for the first time since 2006 when they were 2-2. Next week they will host Edenton in the Northeastern Coastal Conference opener for both schools.