09/12/04 — Football -- Tigers too tough to tame at home

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Football -- Tigers too tough to tame at home

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on September 12, 2004 2:02 AM

WARSAW -- The wait is over for the James Kenan football program.

The Tigers, according to coach Kevin Motsinger, picked up a "watershed victory," defeating county rival North Duplin 36-7 on Friday night at Bill Taylor Field.

The win was Kenan's first over the Rebels in four years and improved the sixth-ranked Tigers to 4-0. North Duplin, which led 7-0 until late in the third quarter, dropped to 1-2.

The Tigers defense turned in another impressive outing -- limiting the Rebels to 16 yards of total offense and just one first down from scrimmage. With North Duplin's only score coming on a 56-yard interception return by Montreal Garner, Kenan now hasn't allowed an offensive touchdown in three games.

Senior defensive lineman Leeron Boykin paced the Tiger defense with two sacks and numerous tackles around or behind the line of scrimmage.

"Defensively, we have played really well. Offensively, we stunk it up," Motsinger said. "A lot of that goes to coach Avent and his staff. They (North Duplin) came out to play. Our guys have bought into the way we are going to play defense, and they play hard.

"This is a huge win for us. North Duplin is one of the best football programs in 1-A football in the east. Their record speaks for itself."

The final margin or statistics may not show it, but the game was mired in a slow, defensive battle for most of the first three quarters before the Tigers posted 30 fourth-quarter points to steadily pull away.

North Duplin's defense bent a few times but didn't break until the final quarter. The Rebels grabbed two fumble recoveries and had two interceptions in the first three quarters, while Kenan turned it over on downs twice. Penalties -- 19 flags for 145 yards -- hindered nearly every James Kenan possession.

Garner's interception return down the right sideline with under one minute left in the second quarter sent North Duplin into the half with a 7-0 lead.

"Our defense did an outstanding job tonight. We needed that as a team to play good defense," North Duplin coach John Avent said. "There at the end, we wore out a little. We are going to see where we made mistakes at the end and hopefully improve."

Despite two more holding penalties, the Tigers finally got on the board with a five-minute, 14-play drive in the third that ended Ronnie Williams' 27-yard touchdown reception from Kelvin Miller. James Kenan then forced the eighth-of-11 North Duplin punts and took over near midfield.

The Tigers' Alex Flores started the fourth-quarter assault with a 59-yard touchdown scamper on the first play of the quarter to give his team their first lead at 14-7. Miller rushed for two touchdowns in the fourth, while Williams added a 29-yard rushing score late in the game.

James Kenan rushed for 311 yards on 47 carries with four rushers picking up at least 40 yards. Miller completed 12-of-22 with two interceptions to seven different receivers. Garner proved to be the only Rebel back to finish with positive yardage -- 31 yards on 10 carries.

The Rebels are open next week and entertain unbeaten Hobbton (3-0) on Sept. 24. Kenan looks to improve on its longest win streak since 1995 when it faces another county battle and tough test on Friday with ninth-ranked East Duplin (4-0) coming to Warsaw.

North Duplin 0 7 0 0 -- 7

James Kenan 0 0 6 30 -- 36

Second quarter

ND -- Garner 56 interception return (Vaca kick), :39.2

Third quarter

JK -- Williams 27 pass from Miller (run failed), 3:05

Fourth quarter

JK -- Flores 59 run (Sutton pass from Miller), 11:50

JK -- Miller 8 run (pass failed), 9:20

JK -- Miller 2 run (Barnette run), 4:46

JK -- Williams 29 run (Benson pass from Miller), 1:19


First downs 1 18

Rushes-yards 30-5 47-311

Passing yards 11 126

Total yards 16 437

Att.-Comp.-Int. 8-2-0 22-12-2

Fumbles-lost 3-1 4-2

Penalties-yds. 2-10 19-145

Punts-avg. 11-20.2 1-40


RUSHING -- North Duplin -- Brad Lloyd 16-(-13); Montreal Garner 10-31; Brian Boykin 3-(-8); Billy Mello 1-(-5). James Kenan -- Alex Flores 6-87, TD; Brian Merriman 5-13; Leeron Boykin 5-43; Rikki Rogers 2-17; Michael Jarman 1-1; Kelvin Miller 11-64, 2 TD; Jimmy Glaspie 6-15; Ronnie Williams 7-52, TD; Brandon Satchell 2-6; Shermaine Matthews 2-13.

PASSING -- North Duplin -- Brad Lloyd 2-8-0 11. James Kenan -- Kelvin Miller - 12-22-2 126, TD.

RECEIVING -- North Duplin -- Charlton Armwood 2-11. James Kenan -- Eric Benson 1-18; Michael Jarman 1-9; Jason Kennion 4-36; Edwin Sutton 1-9; Matt Bass 2-21; Brandon Satchell 1-25; Ronnie Williams 1-27, TD.