KIPP Pride stuns Northampton

Published 11:19 pm Friday, October 14, 2011

CREEKSVILLE – KIPP Pride entered Friday’s game at Northampton-East looking to play spoiler.

The Panthers were just 1-6 for the season and fresh off a forfeit loss to North Edgecombe.

On the other side of the field, Northampton-East had won three of its last four and stood tied atop the Tar-Roanoke Conference standings.

KIPP, however, cost the cross-county rivals that perch atop the league standings thanks to a 26-22 league win over the Rams.

Northampton-East drew first blood when backup quarterback Travis Wiggins led the Rams on a 65-yard drive that took seven plays. Wiggins was playing for the injured Evans Grant.

Early in the drive it was senior running back Kyshawn Gaskins that got the bulk of the work, picking up the first 29 yards of the drive. Wiggins then connected with Jamar Williams on a 10-yard pickup before finding Travis Whitehead for a 25-yard score.

Gaskins added the two-point conversion and East led 8-0 with 9:31 still to play in the first quarter.

The two teams exchanged punts before the Panthers put together their first fruitful drive of the night. The visitors drove 81 yards on six plays capped by a 35-yard touchdown strike.

The two-point conversion was good and the game was tied at 8-all.

The contest remained knotted until the 5:35 mark of the second quarter when Gaskins scored on a 97-yard run. The Rams had forced KIPP to turn the ball over on downs and struck on the first play from scrimmage.

Gaskins also added the conversion and East led 16-8.

The Panthers came back on the next possession and scored on a 33-yard pass completion. The conversion failed and the Rams held on to a 16-14 lead with 1:26 left in the first half.

Northampton-East found paydirt again before the second period ended, however, as Gaskins moved the ball to the 41-yard line from where Wiggins found Williams on a scoring strike. The conversion failed, but Northampton took a 22-14 lead into the intermission.

Unfortunately for the home team, they wouldn’t find the endzone again despite several chances in the second half .

The Panthers scored on the first possession of the third quarter thanks to a two-yard run. The conversion failed, leaving Northampton-East ahead 22-20. The visiting team found paydirt again, this time on an eight-yard run with just 24 ticks left on the third quarter clock.

The Rams drove the ball all the way to the KIPP Pride three-yard line early in the fourth quarter, but came up short on fourth-and-goal.

KIPP took over four minutes of game time off the clock on their next drive before Whitehead picked off a pass that allowed the Rams to set up shop at their own 26-yard line with 2:17 to play.

Unfortunately for the home team, a fumble gave the ball back to KIPP.

East got one last chance and moved the ball inside Panther territory, but time ran out.

Northampton-East dropped to 3-5 overall and 3-2 in league play. Next week the Rams will be off and will try to recover from injuries before returning to action Oct. 28 against Southeast Halifax.