Football -- Burt, Gators turn back Princeton
By David Williams
Published in Sports on September 26, 2004 2:01 AM
SEVEN SPRINGS -- Spring Creek showed off a couple of talents in its closer-than expected 28-18 win against Princeton Friday night.
One was obvious -- sophomore quarterback Josh Wright, who ran for 108 yards and three touchdowns, while throwing for another.
The other one is the Gators' go-to guy -- Lelo Burt, who answered every call on both sides of the ball.
The 6-foot-2, 160-pounder caught five passes for 90 yards, including a touchdown and hooked up on two drive-saving catches. He then picked off two passes -- one which killed a Princeton drive that would have given the Bulldogs the lead with less than two minutes to play.
"I've had a lot of receivers in my years," said Spring Creek coach Roy Whitfield, "and I'd have to put him on the top of the list. He's got great hands -- he only dropped one pass tonight -- and he's an exceptional athlete."
Princeton went down early 14-0 as both of the Gators' first two possessions resulted in touchdowns -- a three-yard sneak by Wright and a 13-yard completion from Wright to Burt.
But after sticking a late drive together in the opening quarter to score and get within eight at 14-6, Princeton kept the Gators out of the end zone until the final quarter. The Bulldogs pulled to within two points as the third period expired and answered a Gator score with one of their own, sparked by a 50-yard kickoff return by Thomas Turnage.
"The offense continues to improve each week," said Princeton coach Joe Mitchell. "I think we proved that we won't give up and we won't quit."
As the clock was winding down, the visitors forced a punt with 4:39 left and began a drive toward the Gator end zone. But from the Spring Creek 36, quarterback Bren Hall threw a high, deep pass. Burt out-leaped the receiver for the interception and the Gators came away with momentum.
Spring Creek had to convert on third-and-five from their own 11 to keep Princeton from getting the ball. Burt -- again -- came through on a hitch route, catching the ball four yards short of the line and diving past tacklers to get the first down.
On the next play, Wright found a hole in the middle of the line and shot through the defense for an 83-yard touchdown to clinch the game.
Burt made a catch in the first half to convert a first down after taking the ball from the defender's hands and turning upfield for the gain.
"We knew he was a great athlete," Mitchell said of Burt. "We knew he'd be hard to stop."
The gritty Bulldogs were led by Decarious Scarboro, who ran for 76 yards and a touchdown on 17 hard carries and was an important part of the Bulldogs' 140 yards on the ground. Hall threw for 113 yards on 6-of-16 passing, with Daniel Gerrell snaring three passes for 31 yards and a touchdown.
Hall hit Daniel Gerrell with a 13-yard pass to score Princeton's opening touchdown. Scarboro and Hall both ended drives with short touchdown runs.
It was the Class 1-A Carolina Conference opener for both teams as the Gators celebrated a Homecoming win.
Spring Creek visits Ayden-Grifton next week, while Princeton plays host to North Duplin.
Princeton 6 0 6 6 -- 18
Spring Creek 14 0 0 14 -- 28
SC -- Wright 3 run (Estrada kick) 8:07
SC -- Burt 13 pass from Wright (Estrada kick) 1:52
P -- Gerrell 13 pass from Hall (kick fail) :10
P -- Hall 1 run (run fail) :48
SC -- Wright 3 run (Estrada kick) 8:23
P -- Scarboro 1 run (kick blocked) 5:46
SC -- Wright 83 run (Estrada kick) 1:56
First downs 13 14
Rushes-yds 33-140 40-246
Pass yds 113 90
Total yds 253 336
Att.-Comp.-Int. 16-6-2 12-5-0
Fumbles-lost 2-1 2-0
Punts-avg 1-38 5-27.4
Penalties-yds 6-46 9-70
RUSHING -- Princeton -- Decarious Scarboro 17-76, TD; Bren Hall 12-33, TD; Daniel Gerrell 1-18; Johnny Phillips 3-5. Spring Creek -- Josh Wright 13-108, 3 TD; Ricky Mason 11-85; Dequan McLamb 9-28; Mychael King 6-25; Lelo Burt 0-1.
PASSING -- Princeton -- Bren Hall 6-16-2 113, TD. Spring Creek -- Josh Wright 5-12-0 90, TD.
RECEIVING -- Princeton -- Daniel Gerrell 3-31, TD; Brooks Moore 1-44; Patrick Gatewood 2-38. Spring Creek -- Lelo Burt 5-90, TD.
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