Jags hold off Jackets

Published 9:20 am Monday, August 26, 2013

CREEKSVILLE – The first offensive play of the season set the tone of the night for the Northampton County Jaguars as pre-season All-State selection, quarterback Keion Crossen, raced 72 yards to paydirt.

It was the first of a two scores on the evening for the senior as the Jags topped the Roanoke Rapids Yellow Jackets, 33-16, here Friday night in the season-opener for both teams.

In a fumble-plagued first quarter Roanoke Rapids fumbled twice and Crossen was not without his opening night jitter miscues, as he threw the first of two interceptions he had in the game.

Crossen’s early score made it 6-0 and Fisher McInville tacked on the extra-point to make it 7-0. Northampton.

The Jags defense stifled the Jackets early on. Then on Roanoke Rapids’ fourth possession a bad snap went over the punter’s head and Northampton recovered on the visitors’ 25.

From there, on the second play, Ja’Quan Buffaloe ran it into the end zone for the night’s second score. The extra point was missed as the score was 13-0 with 6:55 left before halftime.

After Roanoke Rapids went three-and-out on their next possession, Crossen threw his second interception of the game, picked by Nick Vore at the Jags 19 yard line.

On the Jackets’ second play from scrimmage, De’Juan Walker juked the Jag defense and on a zig-zag play went in from 10 yards out for the first Roanoke Rapids score of the night. After the Caleb Pratt point-after kick the Northampton lead had been trimmed to 13-7 with 4:39 left in the half.

Roanoke Rapids then held the Jags on four downs and took over on their own 37. They drove down to the Northampton 24 before Pratt kicked a 41-yard field goal on the final play of the half.

It was 13-10, Northampton, at the half.

Opening the second half, Roanoke Rapids was held on their first possession. After the punt, Northampton started on their own 14-yard line.

They capped a nine-play 86 yard drive with a 14-yard scoring run by sophomore running back William Cumbo. This time McInville’s kick drilled thru and the Jags led 20-10 with 4:27 left in the third quarter.

The Jackets failed to pick up a first down again and after a punt Northampton went 48 yards in 6 plays and capped the drive with a 35-yard touchdown strike from Crossen to Buffaloe on the first play of the fourth quarter. The kick made it 27-10 with 11.53 left in the game.

In less than 30 seconds the Yellow Jackets scored their second touchdown of the night. Sophomore Logan Jackson tossed a 69-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Jones. The kick was no good and it was 27-16.

With under two minutes left in the game Northampton scored the final touchdown of the evening. Waquel Ponton ran it in from 17 yards out to make for the seventeen-point victory on opening night.

Total yards were about even, 350-to-349 in Northampton’s favor.  Crossen had 15 carries for 101 yards and was one-for-ten in passing for one touchdown. Cumbo nearly topped the century mark on the ground with eleven carries for 91 yards.

Northampton (1-0) is back at home next week in the second of three straight home games, hosting Northwest Halifax with a 7:30 p.m. start time.