Bears edge Nash Central
NASHVILLE– Revenge is sweet.
After being embarrassed 61-21 at the hands of Nash Central in Ahoskie last year, Hertford County High School erased that bad memory on the road Friday night by pinning a 13-8 loss on the Bulldogs.
And the Bears exacted that revenge with a few names that normally do not show-up in newspaper clippings, one of which was former starting quarterback Dorian Askew who came off the bench to replace a “cramping” Ryan Weaver and help orchestrate what proved to be the game-winning scoring drive in the third quarter.
Clinging to a narrow 6-0 lead, the Bears drove 65 yards in 11 plays to open the second half capped by Askew’s one-yard TD run and Ackerman Grace’s PAT for a 13-0 lead. Askew replaced Weaver late in that drive and kept the chains moving with six carries for 21 yards, including the final 36 inches.
A critical stage of the game came on the ensuing drive where the ‘Dogs moved inside the HCHS 35 yardline. However, a big hit by defensive tackle Jashon White, all 386 pounds of him, jarred the ball loose and teammate Kevin Privott pounced on the fumble to quell the threat.
Nash Central did make a game of it in the fourth quarter where Jaruis Richardson scored from four yards out and then added the conversion run to trim the HCHS lead to 13-6 with 6:40 left in the game.
But the Bears answered with a key drive that consumed five minutes off the clock. Tyrus Leary ran for 12 yards on a key 3rd-and-8 play to keep that drive alive. By the time the ‘Dogs got the ball back at their own 29 after a punt, there was only 1:49 left in the game. Nash Central did reach the Bears 40 yardline on that drive, but their star quarterback Khalin Macklin was stopped short of the first down marker by defensive end Darius White and the Bears took possession on loss of downs and ran out the clock.
The Bears caught a big break to score the game’s only touchdown of the first half. On a drive that covered 79 yards in 10 plays, Weaver called his own number inside the ‘Dogs five yardline, but fumbled. Luckily, teammate Jerell Monger recovered the loose pigskin in the endzone to stake HCHS to a 6-0 lead when the extra point failed.
Nash Central had one first half drive end at the HCHS two yardline where the Bears defense stiffened and forced their hosts to surrender possession on loss of downs.
The Bears finished with 269 total yards, 243 on the ground. Nine difference backs carried the ball for HCHS, led by Weaver (6 rushes for 65 yards).
Nash Central, who torched the HCHS defense for 530 yards last year, mustered 221 yards last night. Macklin (who rushed for 173 yards last season) was held in check this time around, mustering only 10 yards on 10 carries.
The Bears, 3-1 overall, will open conference play at home next Friday (Sept. 14) when they host rival Northeastern High School at 7:30 p.m.
(R-C News Herald sports analysis Gattis Hodges contributed to this story.)