North Lenoir falls short against Panthers
Published in Sports on October 24, 2004 9:44 AM
LAGRANGE -- North Lenoir's football team dug too big of a hole on Friday night -- spotting North Pitt a 14-0 lead in the first quarter before falling short in a 21-20 defeat
The loss before a large Homecoming crowd cost the Hawks a golden opportunity to take the lead in the Class 2-A Eastern Plains Confer-ence.
Pan-ther quarterback Ryan Little tossed two touchdown passes, including six consecutive completions in the second half. Little completed 12-of-21 passes for 252 yards, including a 25-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Strong in the third quarter which made it 21-12.
North Lenoir, behind Antonio Hamilton and E.J. Brown, battled back to make it 21-20 on Hamilton's four-yard run behind the block of Russell Rouse early in the fourth quarter.
The Hawks later got to the Panther 39-yard line before fumbling, and Brandon Little recovered. After the Panthers fumbled the ball away in the Hawk end zone, North Lenoir had one last chance but could not move the ball.
Hamilton led the Hawks, rushing for 252 yards on 28 carries. Brown added 80 yards on 10 carries.
The Hawks had too many penalties in key situations, and were not helped by some tough calls that frustrated the players and coaches throughout the night.
North Lenoir fumbled the first punt of the game, and Brandon Cox recovered the ball and ran 42 yards for the first score less than two minutes into the game.
Later, they failed to snap the ball correctly on an extra point attempt.
"We were just very sloppy and did not play well at all," North Lenoir coach Wayne Jackson said. "I don't know why we didn't execute. However, give them credit. They played well."
After their initial score, the Panthers drove 62 yards on their next possession before Brown intercepted a Little pass at the 10-yard line. The Hawks then drove into Panther territory but came up short after a fake punt on fourth down.
Jeremy Wilder got behind the Hawk defense, and Little hit him with a 26-yard touchdown pass, giving the Panthers a 14-0 advantage.
North Lenoir hosts Southwest Edgecombe Friday, while North Pitt takes on South Lenoir.
North Pitt 14 0 7 0 -- 21
North Lenoir 0 12 0 8 -- 20
NP -- Cox 42 fumble recovery (Howell kick) 10:01
NP -- Wilder 26 pass from Little (Howell kick) 0:09
NL -- Hamilton 66 run (kick failed) 11:50
NL -- Spencer 3 run (pass failed) 6:25
NP -- Strong 25 pass from Little (Howell kick) 3:08
NL -- Hamilton 4 run (Brown pass from Manning) 10:09
First Downs 16 18
Rushes-yds. 22-147 42-336
Passing yds. 188 70
Total yards 335 406
Att.-Comp.-Int. 22-13-1 9-5-0
Punts-avg. 2-24.5 2-39.0
Fumbles-lost 2-1 2-2
Penalties-yds. 3-15 8-80
RUSHING -- North Pitt -- Jimmy Clemmons 2-(-4); Jeremy Wilder 11-41; Ryan Little 13-34; David McCray 1-(-2); Jeremy Taylor 5-78. North Lenoir -- Antonio Hamilton 28-252, 2 TD; E.J. Brown 10-80; William Brown 2-2; Tyrone Spencer 1-3, TD; Andrew Manning 1-(-1).
PASSING -- North Pitt -- Ryan Little 12-21-1, 162, TD. North Lenoir -- Andrew Manning 5-9-0, 70.
RECEIVING -- North Pitt -- Aaron Strong 5-48; Dominique Easterling 2-40; Chris Reed 1-16; Jeremy Wilder 3-43; Brandon Little 2-41. North Lenoir -- E.J. Brown 5-70.
Kinston Free Press
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