Bears defeat Bertie

Published 11:34 pm Friday, October 28, 2011

AHOSKIE – Neither team came in with the season they had hoped for.

Still, the Bertie High School and Hertford County High School rivalry was enough to fire up the traditional rivals.

In the end, it was the Bears who got the best of the matchup as they won their sixth straight over the rival Falcons by a 27-0 final.

The two teams each started slowly as the Falcons took the opening kickoff only to punt it away. The Bears then faced the same fate three plays later.

A bad snap, however, led to Lailun Majette falling on the football and giving it to Bertie at the eight-yard line.

Unfortunately for the visitors, they were not able to punch it in as they drove to the three, but were turned away by the HCHS defense.

After stopping Bertie, HCHS took over on their own five-yard line and proceeded to march 95 yards on 16 plays. The Bears used a steady diet of senior running backs Aaron Thomas and Lailun Majette as they moved down the field. Junior back Jaleel Black also got in on the action.

The longest play on the drive was a 12-yard scamper by Majette. The scoring play came when Black scored from one yard out with 10:10 remaining in the second quarter. Ackerman Grace added the PAT and HCHS led 7-0.

Following a three-and-out for the Falcons, it was Bertie who saw a bad snap on the punt and this time the Bears got good field position, taking over on the Bertie 24-yard line.

Hertford County made the most of the Bertie mistake, taking just six plays to find the endzone. Thomas capped the short drive with a six-yard scamper to paydirt. Grace again added the conversion kick as HCHS led 14-0 with 1:29 to play in the first half.

Bertie punted again after their next drive and the short kick set up the Bears at midfield. The Bears used a pair of timeouts as they drove down the field thanks in large part to a 42-yard run by quarterback Dorrien Askew.

Two plays after Askew’s long run, he kept the ball on a quarterback sneak and went into the endzone with four ticks left on the first half clock. Grace again made the conversion kick and HCHS went into the locker room with a 21-0 lead.

Bertie forced a punt on Hertford County’s first drive of the third quarter, but fumble the kick and the Bears recovered. Unfortunately for the home team, Jonathan Wilson picked off a pass for Bertie four plays later and returned the ball to the Hertford County 42.

A quick penalty moved the ball back before Al Ameen Sharif broke a 48-yard touchdown run. The score was called back, however, due to an illegal shift penalty against the Falcons.

Bertie committed another infraction on the next play and, despite an 18-yard gain by Sharif, never could pick up the yardage for the first down.

Hertford County punted the ball away on their next drive, but took the ball back thanks to a Bertie fumble. The Bears couldn’t make the miscue count, however, and turned the ball over on downs.

Bertie drove from their own five-yard line to their 45, but a Marvin Harrell interception for the Bears ended any threat.

Hertford County did make that mistake count as the Bears moved the ball to the Bertie 21-yard line from where Black scampered into the endzone with 2:10 to play. The kick failed, establishing the 27-0 final.

Hertford County rushed for 306 yards for the night led by Majette, who went over the century mark with 115 yards on 18 carries. Bertie had just 108 yards on the ground led by Sharif’s 52-yard performance on 10 carries.

The loss dropped the Falcons to 4-6-1 for the season while improving the HCHS overall record to 4-6.

The Bears will likely be on the road next week in the first round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3-A playoffs. The Falcons will have to see if they receive an at-large bid.