The NC football team moved to 4-1 and 2-1 in the HHC with a dominating 42-25 win over Yorktown Friday at Neal Field. NC overcame a sluggish start and finished strong to secure the win.
Yorktown took the kickoff and scored in 2 plays, but missed the extra point to go up 6-0 with less than a minute gone in the game. After a Gage Burk 23 yard run, NC was forced to punt on their first series. Yorktown got the ball and completed a pass when Nicholas Grieser ripped the ball out and Stephen Spears recovered, giving us the ball on the Ytown 30 yard line. QB Drew Barber hit Triston Chesher on a 29 yard pass and Burk ran it in from the 1. Skylor Stevenson added the PAT and it was 7-6 NC. Ytown the moved the ball on a 5 minute drive and scored, but the 2 point conversion was no good, and NC trailed 12-7. NC got the ball and got big 3rd down conversions from Barber on a run and Luke Bunbalough on a catch. The quarter ended with NC driving, down 12-7, but in the red zone.
On the 2nd play of the 2nd quarter, Barber rolled right and hit Grieser on a 9 yard TD pass. Stevenson hit the PAT and it was 14-12. NC would never trail again as the defense turned it up a notch. After trading punts, Ytown had a 3rd and 1 when Dylan Beck and Colin Holcomb stopped the running back short forcing Ytown to punt. Grieser returned the punt 21 yards and NC was in business. On 4th and 1, Bumbalough ran for 24 yards, but a hold moved it back and it was 4th and 2. Burk would not be denied, getting the first down by inches. Barber then hit 2 passes to take the ball down to the 5 yard line, where on 4th and goal, he hit Chesher on a 5 yard TD pass. Stevenson’s PAT was good and NC led 21-12. The defense held Ytown after Chandler Marcum laid the wood to their QB on 3rd down, stopping him short. Ytown had to punt and at half it was 21-12.
3rd quarter started and NC got the ball. Barber hit 5 different receivers on the drive. On 4th and 2, Barber hit Grieser on a 34 yard pass all the way down to the Ytown 2 yard line. Barber hit Dakota Durick on the next play for a TD. Stevenson was good again and it was 28-12. Ytown went nowhere and had to punt. Grieser caught the ball at the 40, received great blocking and returned it 60 yards for the TD, until a late flag on NC nullified it. No worries, on the next play, Barber hit Chesher on a 25 yard TD pass and NC was in total control. Stevenson hit the PAT and it was 35-12. After Ytown’s 6th consecutive punt, NC moved the ball but turned it over on downs. Ytown pulled out trick plays as their regular ones weren’t working and scored to make it 35-18 after 3.
NC had the ball but had to punt at the start of the 4th quarter. Ytown returned the favor and NC went on a 10 play, 70 yard drive eating up 4 minutes of clock. Burk ended the drive with a 5 yard TD and Stevenson was good again making it 42-18. Ytown scores with 27 seconds left to make the final 42-25.
Offensively, this was the best the air raid offense looked this year. Barber was 29-48 for 348 yards and 4 TDs,and ran 8 times for 27 yards. He spread the wealth tonight as Chesher had 8 catches for 111 yards and 2 TDs, Bumbalough 7 catches for 92 yards, Grieser 4 catches for 72 yards and a TD, Tytus Ragle 6 catches for 54 yards and 4 first downs, Cooper Rusch 3 for 17, and Durick 1 for 2 and the TD. Gage Burk toted the rock 11 times for 52 yards and 2 TDs. Stevenson was 6-6 on PAT’s, and Grieser had 2 punt returns for 61 yards.
Defensively after a slow start, the Trojans came to play. Dylan Beck had 18 total tackles and 2 sacks, Stephen Spears 14 total tackles and a fumble recovery, Grieser 9 total tackles and a forced fumble, Trenton Williams 9 total tackles, a sack, and 2 QB hurries, Holcomb 9 tackles, and Brayden Miller 6 tackles and a sack. The Mean Green D forced 6 straight punts and took over the game, allowing NC to score 28 straight points and take control of the game after trailing early.
NC is home Next Friday against 4-1 Delta in a huge HHC game as it is also Senior night. Come out and support our senior athletes, including the 17 men on our team. Game starts at 7:30. Thanks to all who attended the game, as we had a huge crowd once again.