Kenan drops GC
By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on September 25, 2005 2:13 AM
SNOW HILL -- You know it's a defensive struggle when two teams combine to register 11 first downs, average under four yards per play, convert only four of 37 third- and fourth-down attempts and have six turnovers.
That's the kind of game James Kenan and Greene Central staged Friday night. But the Tigers' big plays kept them in control throughout and spurred them to a 26-6 victory.
"I think at times tonight it showed that we had an open date last week," said Kenan Coach Kevin Motsinger, whose 3-2 team won its third straight. "It also showed we're banged up.
"But I'll tell you what--to come into Snow Hill and play that quality a football team ... I'm just so proud of the kids to come in here and get a win."
The Rams (2-4) had another frustrating night on offense, averaging less than a yard per rush and completing just 9-of-31 passes with three interceptions. Greene Central had dropped close encounters of two kinds earlier this season, 8-6 to D.H. Conley and 14-6 to Ayden-Grifton.
But Coach Jim Bob Bryant's defense posted an amazing statistic: 17 of JK's 40 rushing plays lost 98 yards. Three were due to high snaps from center and there were three unforced fumbles in the backfield.
James Kenan also had 13 penalties for 97 yards, including five false starts when the Rams shifted in the defensive line or stunted linebackers. But when the Tigers got it right, they struck quickly.
Their first big play came late in the first quarter, when defensive tackle Jerrell Smith reached up and intercepted a pass a few feet out of GC quarterback Cameron Shelton's hand. Smith quickly lateraled to defensive end Shermane Matthews, who ran 38 yards to put the visitors up 6-0 at the quarter.
In the middle of the second period, the Tigers struck for another big play that was almost a disaster. On third-and-10 from the Kenan 28, Shawn Jones hit Jason Kennion on a pass-run play on which Kennion broke into the open and appeared to be gone.
But with a defender angling in on him, Kennion shifted the ball from his right arm to his left--and fumbled at the five-yard line. But the ball rolled out of bounds, giving James Kenan first-and-goal at the five, and alternate quarterback Alex Nickerson stomped through the right side untouched for a 12-0 halftime lead.
That lead seemed tenuous, since Kenan led in first ,downs at the half only 2-1. But, said Motsinger, "The kids came out after halftime and answered the call.
The Tigers' Albert Carlton recovered a squib kickoff at his 43, and JK scored in five plays. Sophomore Brandon Satchell (106 yards rushing) opened with a 30-yard run through his right side to the GC 27, and on the third play, he slashed 12 yards to the 10.
After a high snap over Jones' head lost 15 yards, another soph, Stedman Mathis, broke off the right side on a 25-yard scoring run. He also ran the conversion to give the Tigers command at 20-0.
"That was probably the difference in the game, that drive right there," said JK' Motsinger.
That and a consistent Tiger defense that gave up no rushing play longer than six yards for the second straight game.
Greene Central's only offensive weapon was senior Z-back receiver Dreyan Willis, whom Motsinger called, "... as good a player as I've seen. I got to know him last summer, and he just is."
Willis caught seven of his team's nine pass completions for 90 yards, including three from Shelton and four from William Brown. His 42-yard pass-run from Brown--on which he miraculously escaped from being boxed in at the right sideline--set up field position for the Rams' lone touchdown.
James Kenan hosts Dixon next Friday at homecoming, its last preconference game before Lakewood comes in for the Class 1-A Super Six Conference opener on Sept. 30. Greene Central opens its 2-A Eastern Plains Conference schedule at home against North Pitt.
James Kenan 6 6 8 6 -- 26
Greene Central 0 0 0 6 -- 6
JK -- Matthews 38 run with lateral on Smith's interception (run failed), :02
JK -- Nickerson 5 run (pass failed), 4:52
JK -- Mathis 25 run (Mathis run), 9:59
GC -- Willis 7 pass from Shelton (kick blocked), 3:55
JK -- Williams 1 run (kick failed), 1:25
First Downs 6 5
Rushing yds. 40-118 20-16
Passing yds. 90 95
Total yards 208 111
Comp.-Att.-Int. 5-12-1 9-31-3
Fumbles-lost 5-2 1-0
Penalties-yds. 13-97 6-45
Punts-avg. 6-31.0 6-26.8
RUSHING -- James Kenan -- Brandon Satchell 8-106, Stedman Mathis 4-24, Ronnie Williams 7-13, Alex Nickerson 5-11, Antwan Brown 1-6, Marqui Faison 3-5, Kordarius Brown 1-1, Calvin Aultman 1-0, Marcus Sloan 1-(-)3, Jayvon Devane 1-(-)5, Jason Kennion 1-(-)13, Shawn Jones 7-(-)27, Team 3(-)23. Greene Central -- Damien Phillips 11-24, Mario Brown 2-5, William Brown 1-1, Tim McNair 1-(-)1, Cameron Shelton (1(-)13.
PASSING -- James Kenan -- Shawn Jones 5-12-1, 90 yards. Greene Central -- Cameron Shelton 5-18-3, 38 yards, TD; William Brown 4-13-0.
RECEIVING -- James Kenan -- Jason Kennion 1-67, Jayvon Devane 2-15, Alonzo Washington 1-12, Marqui Faison 1(-)4. Greene Central -- Dreyan Willis 7-90, Tim McNair 2-5.
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