Bears bite Bulldogs, advance to third round of state playoffs

Published 3:31 pm Saturday, November 11, 2023

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TEACHEY – Offense, defense, and special teams…Rimiez Williams scored in all phases of the game here Friday night.

Hertford County’s all-purpose player caught three touchdown passes, scooped up a fumble and ran that in for a score, and returned a kickoff for a TD as the Bears extended their football season for another week with a 58-44 road win at fifth-seeded Wallace-Rose Hill.

The win advances the 12th-seeded Bears (10-2 overall) to this coming Friday’s (Nov. 17) third round of the NCHSAA Class 2A State Playoffs. HCHS will visit fourth-seeded Nash Central High School (10-2 overall). Kickoff is set for 7 pm.

At Wallace-Rose Hill, Hertford County built a 20-0 lead by the end of the first quarter. Williams opened the scoring with his 4-yard TD pass from Keveon Rodgers. Tydrevion Joyner booted the PAT for a 7-0 lead.

Williams was in the endzone again just a few minutes later when he returned a Bulldogs fumble 66 yards for a touchdown. Joyner’s PAT kick made it a 14-0 lead for the Bears.

Rodgers added a 2-yard TD run later in the first quarter. The kick failed, but the Bears held a 20-0 advantage.

After stopping a Wallace-Rose Hill drive and gaining possession at their own 12 yardline, HCHS was in the endzone again just a few plays later when Rodgers and Williams hooked up on a 63-yard scoring pass. Rodgers then tossed a two-point conversion pass to Jayden Robinson as the Bears built a 28-0 lead early in the second period.

The home-standing Bulldogs scored their first touchdown of the game thanks to a 14-yard run by Irving Brown. Corbin Kerr added the conversion run to make it a 28-8 game.

The Bears answered with a drive capped by a 4-yard TD run by Rodgers. The conversion failed, but HCHS had extended their lead to 34-8.

Hertford County’s defense came up with two key stops late in the second quarter, both in the Bears redzone. Linebacker Devonte Cofield ended one of those drives when he recovered a fumble at the HCHS 15 yardline.

Wallace-Rose Hill scored the first touchdown of the second half when Kerr scampered 14 yards to paydirt. Brown added the conversion run as the Bulldogs trimmed their deficit to 34-14.

But that momentum quickly swung back to Hertford County when Williams took the ensuing kickoff and raced 84 yards to the endzone. Jar’Marcus White ran in the conversion, upping the HCHS lead to 42-16.

Wallace-Rose Hill then scored on back-to-back possessions and only trailed by 12 (42-30) at the end of the third quarter.

However, the Rodgers-to-Williams TD connection worked once again, this time for 53 yards early in the fourth quarter. White added the conversion run, helping the Bears build a 20-point lead (50-30).

The Bulldogs answered with a drive that ended with a 19-yard TD run by Javyn Frederick and Kerr’s conversion run as the home team got to within 50-38 with nine minutes left in the game.

Hertford County responded with a scoring drive of their own, one that ended with a 3-yard run by Rodgers. He then tossed a two-point conversion pass to Williams for a 58-38 lead with four minutes remaining.

Kerr added a late touchdown on a 34-yard run to account for the game’s final outcome.

(Larry Carter supplied the scoring information for this story.)