Falcons fall to Currituck

Published 12:05 am Saturday, October 8, 2011

WINDSOR – You could say it was Grizzle, as in ‘sizzle’; or even call him the Grinch that stole Homecoming.

Whatever it was – as Andy Griffin might say – it was some spectacular football, and sadly at the Falcons’ expense.

Currituck senior tailback Marquise Grizzle ran for seven touchdowns – four in the first half – en route to a whopping 569 yards.  However, his seventh and final touchdown was a 99-yard garbage score.

It all helped stun the Bertie homecoming crowd, with a 54-28 win for the Knights.

It was Currituck’s first-ever win on Bertie soil.

The Falcon faithful were treated to a mini-version of Grizzle: freshman runner, Al-Ameen Sharif, who finished the night with 162 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Bertie also got scores from Jaquil Hafiz and Tykevis Bazemore.

“We didn’t execute early,” said second-year Bertie coach Greg Watford.  “We hung our heads a little bit, and that’s typical of a young team.”

The Falcons greeted the overflow homecoming crowd to a touchdown on their first possession.  Malcolm Cherry took the opening kickoff 60 yards to set Bertie up at the Currituck 22-yard line.

Five plays later Sharif bounced in from three yards out to make it 6-0, though the extra-point failed.

It was the last time the home team would enjoy the lead.

Currituck came back to even the score thanks to five carries and a fourth-down catch by Grizzle.  His last run was a nine-yard plunge into the end zone despite a fumble just over the end line; that was ruled down and the six points became the equalizer, 6-6.

Bertie appeared to be driving for another go-ahead score on their next possession, but coughed up the ball on the 18-yard line and Currituck recovered on their own 25.

The Knights then ground out a dozen-play drive that culminated with the lead, 14-6, after Grizzle’s second touchdown and a two-point conversion.

Grizzle found the endzone twice more before halftime and Currituck took a 28-6 lead into the locker-room.

The news was not so good for Bertie as starting quarterback David Watford was slammed to the ground hard on the Falcons’ last possession of the half before the break and injured his shoulder.  He did not return to the game.

The Knights opened the second half with another score to make it 34-6 before Tykevis Bazemore, subbing for Watford, directed a six-play drive going 58 yards to paydirt ending with a 14-yard draw play to the endzone and Sharif’s second score of the night.

The Falcons then recovered the on-side kickoff, but were stopped on the Currituck 28-yard line as what appeared to be a Bazemore scoring pass was dropped in the end zone.

The Knights came right back and scored to make it 40-14 as the fourth quarter opened before Bazemore directed Bertie’s third scoring drive of the night getting the Falcons closer at 40-22.

But Grizzle delighted the sparse Knight crowd that made the trip from Barco with another spectacular burst, this time from 41 yards out on just one play to push the lead farther ahead.

Bertie got its final score with two minutes to go in the game and after stopping the Knights on downs were driving for another score, but Bazemore was intercepted at the one-yard line.

It looked like the Falcons would collect a quick safety; but instead, Grizzle was inserted back into the game and crushed Bertie with his near-100 yard jaunt.

“He’s a good go-to guy,” said Currituck coach, John Wheeler. “Fortunately we were able to back him up with some great defense.

“But hats off to Bertie,” he added, “they battled to the end.”

“I don’t know if we can get into the playoffs with four wins,” said Watford, looking to the Falcons (2-5-1) final two games against First Flight and Hertford County, “But we’re going to keep fighting to get them.”