Prep Football: Cavaliers dominate Bulldogs in battle for first place
Thomasville found out in a painful way Friday night that North Rowan is indeed the real deal this season. At the same time, the Bulldogs helped the Cavaliers look a lot better.
Troubles on special teams combined with an offense that never found its footing doomed THS first half. They yielded 26 unanswered points in the opening 24 minutes and played from behind all night long in a 40-0 Central Carolina Conference setback. The Cavaliers keep a perfect record at 10-0, while the Bulldogs slip to 4-6.
THS took the ball first at their 33 and netted five yards before punting away. On the kick, Brett Hokenson had to field a low snap and the kick landed at the 34. The Cavs pieced together a short drive, finding paydirt on play eight when Alexis Archie bowled over a defender for six. A successful PAT made it 7-0 halfway through the first quarter.
After trading punts, the Bulldogs were set up to kick away yet again from its own 21. It turned into a disastrous exchange that changed the CCC battle for first place in a big way. The snap sailed well over the head of Hokenson, as the junior turned and gave chase. Entering the end zone he had the right idea in kicking the ball off the ground, but made a crucial mistake during the frantic play. Instead of kicking it out the back of the end zone for a safety, he turned and tried to kick the ball up the field. North's Kenyaun Coney stopped the bouncing pigskin and scored a touchdown, putting the guests ahead 14-0.
Thomasville finally picked up a first down on the next drive, but were forced to punt again. After starting its first two possessions in THS territory, the Cavs took over at their 29. It made no difference. On third-and-10 from his 31, Jareke Chambers turned on the jets down the near sideline after spinning out of a tackle in the secondary. He would not stop until reaching the end zone, tacking on six more points to a now 20-0 NRHS lead.
A couple minutes before the half North got more insurance following a trick play. Xavier Robinson took the short snap on a fake punt and darted to the far sideline before being knocked out at the 16. Chambers covered the final green on the next play, all but wrapping up the win.
The Cavaliers are 4-0 in the league while Thomasville is 3-1. The Bulldogs conclude the regular season next Friday on the road at longtime rival Lexington.
Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or firstname.lastname@example.org.