11/26/06 — North Duplin shocks Cherokee

View Archive

North Duplin shocks Cherokee

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on November 26, 2006 2:02 AM

CHEROKEE -- A 400-mile Thanksgiving Day trip to western North Carolina turned into a festive occasion for unranked North Duplin on Friday evening.

The Rebels held state-ranked and previously-unbeaten Cherokee to less than 70 yards of total offense and pulled off a stunning 13-0 upset in the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A (small-school) western semifinals.

North Duplin (11-2) dominated time of possession and earned its first trip to a regional championship game since 2003. The Rebels, who collected their seventh consecutive victory, travel to defending state champion Elkin (11-3) next Friday.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

The Rebel defense, directed by coordinator Kevin Anderson, posted its second consecutive postseason shutout and third in its last four outings overall. Opponents have manufactured just one touchdown during that stretch.

Cherokee picked up just 64 yards of total offense on 36 plays. Heralded running back Langston Wood sustained a second-half injury on an option play when North Duplin's Chris Warren tackled him for a 9-yard loss. Wood, western North Carolina's top rusher, finished with minus-8 yards rushing on 11 totes.

"We play eight in the box all the time," said North Duplin head coach Hugh Martin. "We were scared of their speed and how they can dominate a game with it. We focused on running to the point of attack and containing their running game."

Billy Mello blocked a first-quarter Cherokee punt and Daniel Howell recovered it in the end zone for the Rebels' first score. Quarterback Doug Lloyd and Ryan Killette hooked up for the visitors' second touchdown -- a 14-yard strike with 10 minutes left in regulation.

North Duplin held a 31-17 edge in time of possession and kept the ball the final nine minutes of the game. The Rebels ran 57 offensive plays and accumulated 284 yards of total offense.

Lloyd and Michael Schilling rushed for 87 and 81 yards, respectively. Lloyd completed 5 of 12 passes for 92 yards to four different receivers.

The teams combined to lose two fumbles.

Cherokee, ranked No. 7 in the final Associated Press prep poll, recorded its second consecutive 12-win campaign.

Notes: Mello blocked two punts. ... North Duplin is 2-4 all-time in regional championship games -- 1-4 vs. the east and 1-0 vs. the west.