Tigers avoid Topsail's ambush
Published in Sports on November 13, 2005 2:01 AM
WARSAW -- James Kenan's Jason Kennion and Marcus Sloan returned punts for touchdowns in succession to open the third quarter Friday night, and the Tigers broke away to a 54-7 rout of Topsail in a first-round N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-AA (large school) playoff game at Bill Taylor Field.
Sixth-seed Kenan (9-3) won for the ninth time in 10 games, and will travel to Beaufort to play third-seed East Carteret (11-0) in the second round. The Mariners beat Heide Trask 41-0 in their first-round game, posting their fourth-straight shutout. Topsail finishes 5-7.
The Tigers led 22-7 at halftime, but were having trouble rebounding from the previous week's 23-18 loss to Wallace-Rose Hill in the Super Six Conference championship game. Then, the Pirates executed an onside kick to open the second half and recovered at the Kenan 47-yard line.
"That kinda backfired on 'em a little bit," said Tigers' coach Kevin Motsinger. "I never thought I'd say somebody getting an onside kick on you was the best thing that could've happened, but our kids got mad and started playing."
Topsail had to punt on fourth down, and Kennion broke it 76 yards down the right sideline past the Tiger bench, with several excellent moves.
On fourth down after the kickoff, Topsail punted again, and Sloan raced 66 yards to score, following much the same route as Kennion.
Ronnie Williams' pair of two-point conversions ran the score to 38-7, and the route was on.
Topsail was smart enough to punt out of bounds minutes later, but an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty started Kenan on the Pirates' 40. Williams ran 12 yards, then hit Jimmie Glaspie on a 22-yard tailback option pass to the four, and scored on the next play and it was 44-0.
Sloan pulled an even more spectacular play than his punt return on the next series, when he intercepted a pass at his eight-yard line and ran through the Pirates for an apparent 92-yard touchdown play. But it was cut short for blocking in the back.
James Kenan outgained the Bucs 366-87 and had 166 yards nullified on 11 penalties for 119 yards.
On Topsail's only scoring drive, covering 66 yards in the second quarter, 39 yards--and four of the five first downs--came on four Tiger penalties for pass interference. For the game, seven of the Pirates' 11 first downs came on penalties.
Kenan sophomore tailback Stedman Mathis had a 57-yard scoring run in the second quarter and led the Tigers with 105 yards rushing on seven carries.
Notes: Kenan will be seeking its first second-round win under Motsinger after three straight first-round victories. ... Motsinger is 24-12, extending his record for wins in a coach's first three years at the school ... Sloan's sixth interception of the season tied Antwan Brown for the team lead ... Starting Tiger QB Shawn Jones missed his second straight game with an injury and is day-to-day. ... It was the first football meeting for Kenan and Topsail.
Topsail 0 7 0 0 -- 7
James Kenan 16 6 29 3 -- 54
JK -- Williams 5 run (Nickerson run) 7:31
JK -- Glaspie 1 run (Wilson pass from Nickerson) 3:10
JK -- Mathis 57 run (run failed) 6:30
THS -- Travis 3 run (kick good) 0:21
JK -- Kennion 76 punt return (Williams run) 10:16
JK -- Sloan 66 punt return (Williams run) 8:32
JK -- Williams 4 run (kick failed) 4;31
JK -- Devane 30 run (Faison kick) 0:00
JK -- 36 Nickerson FG, 4:49
First downs 11 16
Rushing yds. 38-66 39-271
Passing yds. 21 95
Att.-Comp.-Int. 3-10-0 6-11-0
Fumbles-Lost 4-2 2-2
Punts-avg. 7-36.9 0
Penalties-yds. 5-45 11-119
RUSHING -- Topsail -- Andrew Travis 15-37; Sean Sidbury 10-15. James Kenan -- Stedman Mathis 7-105; Ronnie Williams 8-49; Alex Nickerson 7-33; Jayvon Devane 8-32; Marqui Faison 3-17; Brandon Satchell 2-16; Jason Kennion 1-13; Marcus Sloan 1-7; Jimmie Glaspie 1-1; Calvin Aultman 1-(-)2.
PASSING -- Topsail -- Steve Christian 3-9-0 21; Andrew Travis 0-1-0 0. James Kenan -- Alex Nickerson 5-10-0 73; Ronnie Williams 1-1-0 22.
RECEIVING -- Topsail -- Andrew Travis 3-21. James Kenan -- Jimmie Glaspie 3-82; Jason Kennion 1-7; Ronnie Williams 1-4; Kordarius Brown 1-2.
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