09/24/06 — Princeton gets second win of season

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Princeton gets second win of season

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on September 24, 2006 2:13 AM

PRINCETON -- After a disappointing setback at Chatham Central last week, Princeton bounced back in impressive fashion with a 17-13 win at home over Topsail on Friday night at the Fred Barthlomew, Jr. Athletic Complex.

The Bulldogs took a 17-0 lead in the fourth quarter a 16-yard strike from quarterback Matthew Blackwell to tight end Daniel Gerrell, then held off a late surge by the Pirates to improve to 2-4 overall heading into a bye week. Princeton, which has two wins in a season for the first time since 2002, returns to action on Oct. 6 at Spring Creek in the Class 1-A Carolina Conference opener for both teams.

"The kids took it upon themselves to get better after last week," Princeton coach Russell Williamson said. "They knew we didn't play well last week. Last night was big for us. It gives us a lot of momentum, and we've got an off week to get healed up. Our kids know they can play with anybody if they play like they did last night.

"I saw it in their eyes. They were ready to play at 3 p.m. in the afternoon."

The Bulldogs got on the board late in the first quarter when senior Colin Parker booted a 47-yard field goal. The kick was his second make from 40-plus yards on the season. Princeton capped the first-half scoring as Blackwell charged in from 2-yards out to make it 10-0 at halftime. The touchdown was set up by an interception and long return by Jared McLamb.

After Blackwell's touchdown pass to Gerrell, Topsail opened up its passing game and got on the board with four minutes left. Princeton recovered the ensuing onsides kick, but then quickly turned it over to the Pirates. Topsail made it 17-10 with two minutes left to push the score to the final margin.

By game's end, the Bulldogs held Topsail to just 58 yards on 22 carries. Most of the Pirates' yards came through the air as they had 128 yards on 13-of-28 passing with two interceptions.

"We played about as good as we could play for 45 minutes, then it got hairy at the end," Williamson said. "We were still playing well, but had a turnover that hurt. We didn't give up the big play. We kept everything underneath us and got the time of the clock. It was everybody playing their role last night."

Gerrell Bogle paced Princeton's ground game with 71 yards on 21 carries, while Blackwell added 51 yards on 41 carries. Blackwell had a solid night through the air with 113 yards on 7-of-14 passing with no interceptions. Gerrell had four catches for 68 yards.

"We did some stuff different ... spread the field a litlte bit and threw it more," Williamson said. "We did that to open up the running game and it worked out well for us. We've still got some bugs to work out, but we feel like it helped us."

Topsail slipped to 2-4 overall.