10/15/04 — Panthers top Rebels in Thursday clash

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Panthers top Rebels in Thursday clash

Published in Sports on October 15, 2004 1:55 PM

KENLY -- They say the youngest child gets whatever they want.

Thursday night, North Johnston head coach Ken Avent Jr. got what he wanted at his older brother's ex-pense as his Pan-thers defeated sibling John Bert's North Duplin squad 28-14.

The Panthers had another second-half epiphany, shutting out the Rebels in the final two quarters of play. They have now outscored their opponents 49-0 in the second half in the past two contests.

Despite the intense intra-conference Class 1-A Carolina battle, plenty of brotherly love was spread afterwards.

"My hats off to them," said Ken Avent. "They do as good a job as anybody I've ever coached against defensively. I thought the second half, we made a couple big plays and that was big."

North Duplin's defense held North Johnston to a mere 29 yards of total offense in the first half as the Panthers' offense stalled after scoring on their first drive. Montreal Garner's six-yard touchdown run put the Rebels up 14-7 going into the half.

The Panthers tied the game at 14-14 when quarterback Brad Holloman snuck the ball in from one yard out midway through the third quarter to start his team's second-half revival.

"They made some adjustments," said John Avent. "They got it going in the second half. We also had a couple breakdowns we made and they took it advantage of it."

After Panther linebacker Louis Edwards recovered his second fumble, Avent would make a move that albeit risky, won his team the game on fourth-and-six at the Rebel 27-yard line.

"We were kind of out of field goal range, so we decided to throw it up and let Damien (Allen) go try to get it and he made a great play," said Ken Avent. "It ain't real smart coaching just to throw it up and let them go get it."

Oh, but it was.

The tall, lanky Allen came down with the jump ball between him and Rebel defensive back Matt Braswell at the goal line to give North Johnston the 21-14 lead and the momentum much to the liking of the full home crowd at Ben E. Strifert Stadium.

"That was a big one, that ball could have tipped either way," said the older brother. "Sometimes you get the breaks, sometimes you don't."

Two weeks after seeing a fourth-quarter lead slip away in the final minute against Rosewood, the Panther defense made sure no such occurrence happened again. Senior defensive tackle Will Howard two made two consecutive big plays as he met Garner at the line of scrimmage for no gain and then batted down a pass from Brad Lloyd on second down. Willie Smith sacked Lloyd for a three-yard loss on third down.

"Coming into that second half, if we didn't get something on that first drive, we were going to have some trouble," said Ken Avent.

North dominated time of possession by keeping the ball on the ground and varying their running attack between Holloman and tailback Adrian Briscoe, who eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the season in the first half with 139 yards on the ground. Briscoe capped off his third straight 100-yard night when he ran 28 yards down the right sideline for the game's final touchdown.

"We knew we had to play good defense coming in," said John Avent. "Briscoe and Holloman are so fast to the outside, we had to make sure we stayed home and not leave our spots."

North Duplin 8 6 0 0 -- 14

North Johnston 7 0 14 7 -- 28

First quarter

NJ -- Briscoe 12 run (Stancil kick), 9:12

ND -- B. Lloyd 3 run (B. Lloyd run), 6:29

Second quarter

ND -- Garner 6 run (run failed), 4:53

Third quarter

NJ -- Holloman 1 run (Stancil kick), 7:00

NJ -- Allen 27 pass from Holloman (Stancil kick), 2:30

Fourth quarter

NJ -- Briscoe 28 run (Stancil kick), 2:05


First downs 8 11

Rushes-yds 28-166 41-151

Passing yds 83 50

Total yards 249 201

Att.-Comp.-Int. 9-6-0 9-5-1

Fumbles-lost 4-4 2-0

Punts-avg. 3-30.0 4-37.5

Penalties-yds 4-30 5-36


RUSHING -- North Johnston -- Adrian Briscoe 24-139, TD; Brad Holloman 12-1, TD; Britt 3-7; J.P. Wise 2-4. North Duplin -- Brad Lloyd 14-93, TD; Montreal Garner 9-66, TD; D. Lloyd 3-19; Mello 1-7; McCarty 1-0.

PASSING -- North Johnston -- Brad Holloman 5-8-1 50, TD; Adrian Briscoe 0-1-0 0. North Duplin -- Brad Lloyd 6-9-0 83.

RECEIVING -- North Johnston -- Damien Allen 4-41, TD; Holland 1-9. North Duplin -- Killette 1-9; D. Lloyd 1-18; Braswell 3-49; Villalon 1-7.