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SC football cruising in conference play

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Ayden-Grifton’s head coach Paul Cornwell celebrates during their game against Washington on Oct. 5, 2018. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)

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By Jake Keator
The Daily Reflector

Monday, October 8, 2018

South Central continues to be the top team in the 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference, sporting a perfect 7-0 record that includes a 3-0 mark in the ECC. A 50-26 win over Eastern Wayne last Friday in Winterville kept the good times rolling for SC.

Junior quarterback Justin Humphries continued his stellar season, going 7-of-16 for 156 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Once again Jeremy Lewis was the main recipient of Humphries’ passes, bringing in four receptions for 101 yards and two touchdowns. 

Jemere Artis is the Falcons go-to running back, but he shared the spotlight Friday in an all-around team win for SC. With seven carries for 39 yards, Artis had the third-most yards in the blowout. The top rusher was was Humphries, who used his ability to tuck-and-run to pick up 63 yards on eight carriers, scoring one touchdown.

The Falcons’ defense made an early stand, forcing a turnover on downs by the Warriors, before SC scored the game’s opening points. Eastern Wayne responded by scoring a touchdown of its own, followed by an interception return for a touchdown by Marcus Rouse on the next Falcons’ possession, but the TD was erased on a block in the back on the return.

The Warriors’ luck turned as they trailed SC, 14-13, at halftime.

The tides shifted once again after the break, as the Falcons outscored the Warriors 22-13 in the third quarter to increase their lead. The SC defense produced a shutout in the fourth, while the offense tacked on 14 more points to seal the victory.

South Central is off this week before hosting New Bern on Oct. 19.

D.H. CONLEY 41, C.B. AYCOCK 18

Conley is playing its best football of the season. Unfortunately for the Golden Falcons, they saw the capabilities of DHC’s stout defense and the combination of CJ Johnson and Nick Hamilton on offense.

Hamilton completed half of his passes (15-of-30) for 157 yards, throwing two touchdowns and one interception. Johnson continued his streak of three or more touchdowns per game, pushing it to four as he brought in six receptions for 71 yards and a touchdown to go along with four carries for 73 yards and two TDs. Johnson was DHC’s leading receiver and rusher. 

The Vikings (4-2, 2-0 ECC) will be on the road once again as they travel to face New Bern (2-3, 1-0) on Wednesday in a game that was moved up because of the threat of inclement weather.

AYDEN-GRIFTON 24, WASHINGTON 15

A homecoming victory for the Chargers was made more special by head coach Paul Cornwell becoming the school’s all-time leader in football wins. 

Cornwell, who picked up career win No. 121, passed former head coach B.T. Chappell. Cornwell is in his 14th season as the Chargers’ head coach.

“I told someone earlier, that’s one of those things you’ll enjoy once you retire,” Cornwell said of the moment.

The coach enjoyed the achievement, but quickly moved on to the next game versus Kinston.

The Chargers (4-2, 1-0 Eastern Carolina 2-A) were one of only a few teams to steal a win last year from the Vikings, who finished 9-3, 4-2. A-G beat Kinston, 27-26, in Littlefield in 2017.

Kinston is undefeated this year at 5-0. It began Eastern Carolina play last week with a 45-0 rout of South Lenoir.

FARMVILLE CENTRAL 40, NASH CENTRAL 20

With a 40-20 win over 2-A Eastern Plains Conference opponent Nash Central, Farmville ended a four-game losing streak and is looking to take back control of its season. 

FC coach Scott Gardner had been looking for his team to have a successful run game and strong defensive performance. He got both.

Quarterback Tayvon Suggs sparked the offense with two long rushing touchdowns of 68 and 50 yards. The defense for the Jaguars (2-5,1-0) also came up big, including snagging a game-sealing interception deep in the fourth quarter. 

FC plays host to North Johnston (2-4, 0-1) this week to end a four-game homestand.

SOUTHWEST EDGECOMBE 53, NORTH PITT 20

North Pitt continued to struggle as it fell to 0-7 overall in dropping its Eastern Plains Conference opener, 53-20 to SouthWest Edgecombe. 

Improvements could be seen in the final stat line however, as the Panthers racked up 233 yards of rushing offense.

NP freshman running back Raheem Jones led the way, finishing with 13 carries for 97 yards and a touchdown. Zaiere Bradley was not far behind, using 10 carries to gain 92 yards. NP’s Khalil Everrett and Manny Turner both recovered fumbles. Demetrious Cain was credited with a forced fumble.  

Panthers quarterback Alex Espinosa-Johnson threw two interceptions in his third game of the season. 

Contact Jake Keator at jkeator@reflector.com, 252-329-9594 and follow @JakeKeatorDR on Twitter.

Check out a midseason recap of all six Pitt County high school football teams online at reflector.com/HighSchools.

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