Bears beat First Flight
KILL DEVILL HILLS – Hertford County broke open a close game in the second quarter here Friday night.
The Bears were tied with First Flight High School 14-all early in the second period, but scored two more times in the first half and pulled away to a 36-27 victory.
Senior running back Aaron Thomas was a big reason for the Bears’ win as he surpassed the 1,000-yard mark for the season with a career-best 227 yards rushing on 22 carries.
HCHS struck first in the contest when they drove 98 yards on seven plays. Grant Gatling scored his first touchdown of the season on a five-yard run. Ackerman Grace added the conversion and Hertford County led 7-0 with just 2:02 gone from the first quarter clock.
First Flight answered, however, as Jacob Durett intercepted an HCHS pass and returned it to the 34-yard line. Nate Parker scored on a 13-yard run and Aaron Zigler added the extra point to tie the game at 7-all with 6:44 to play in the first quarter.
The Bears came right back as they drove 68 yards on seven plays. Thomas capped the drive with a 10-yard run which, when combined with Grace’s extra point, gave HCHS a 14-7 margin.
The Nighthawks would not surrender as they came right back to tie the game. The home team drove 66 yards on 10 plays. Jay Wifner scored on a halfback pass from Wyatt Roberson from 13 yards out. Zigler added the conversion and the game was back deadlocked, this time at 14-all.
Hertford County made the most of the remaining time in the first half, however.
HCHS quarterback Dorrien Askew gave the Bears the lead when he capped a 10-play, 57-yard drive with a seven-yard run. Grace added the conversion and Hertford County led 21-14.
Kevin Privott then caught a 47-yard touchdown pass from Askew with 2:54 to play in the first half. Grace added the conversion and the Bears went into the locker room with a 28-14 lead.
First Flight closed the gap late in the third quarter.
The Nighthawks went 72 yards on four plays aided by a pair of personal fouls against Hertford County. Parker scored from 20 yards out and Zigler added the PAT to close the gap to 28-21 with 16 ticks left on the third quarter clock.
The Bears weren’t about to lie down, however, as they roared back. HCHS drove 55 yards on six plays capped by a Jaleel Black one-yard run. Lailun Majette added the two-point conversion and HCHS led 36-21.
First Flight scored again when Trevor Baldwin hauled in a 15-yard pass from Mitch Foster. The conversion failed and HCHS led 36-27 to establish the final.
Overall, Hertford County rolled up 560 yards of total offense, 466 of which came on the ground. First Flight had 311 yards of total offense.
The win boosted the Bears to 3-6 for the season. They will close out the regular season next week when they host rival Bertie High School.
(Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald Senior Analyst Gattis Hodges contributed to this story.)