Methodical Rebels dominate Bulldogs
By Steve Roush
Published in Sports on October 15, 2006 2:02 AM
PRINCETON -- Maybe the next time the Princeton Bulldogs win a coin flip, they'll opt to take the football first.
North Duplin opened Friday night's game with an 18-play, 80-yard touchdown drive that ate up nearly two-thirds of the first quarter as the visiting Rebels went on to dominate the Bulldogs 35-7.
The Rebels (5-2, 1-1 Carolina Conference), coming off an embarrassing 52-12 loss at North Johnston, held the ball for more than 17 of the game's first 24 minutes -- outgaining Princeton (2-6, 0-2) by a margin of 250-19 in the first half -- as the visitors took a commanding 28-0 lead into halftime.
Senior quarterback Doug Lloyd led the way for the Rebels, finishing 9-of-13 passing for 138 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 48 yards the game's first score. Also the team's starting safely, Lloyd recovered a fumble in the second quarter that led to a North Duplin touchdown.
"We got off to a great start," said Lloyd, was just 2-of-12 through the air for 24 yards and an interception a week ago. "After the North Johnston game, we came back and had a great week of practice and were very well prepared for this game."
Mixing the run and pass effectively in the first half, the Rebels converted on a fourth-and-2 play in the game's opening drive as Lloyd picked up 3 yards to put the ball at the Princeton 5. Three plays later, Lloyd scored from a yard out as North Duplin took a 7-0 lead with 4:11 left in the first quarter.
"When I ran into the end zone, I was surprised when I looked up at the scoreboard and saw there was only four minutes left in the quarter," Lloyd said. "That was a time-consuming drive."
While the Rebels were eating up the clock, the Bulldogs had trouble getting anything going offensively. Princeton ran just three plays in the first quarter, and two second-quarter turnovers led to a pair of North Duplin touchdowns.
"Those turnovers gave them a short field, and you can't do that against a team of this caliber," Princeton coach Russell Williamson said. "I think a lot of our problems are mental -- you have to believe in what you're doing and believe that we can get it done. In our two wins this season, we did that."
Akeem Cox, the game's leading rusher with 92 yards on 16 carries, ran for a 6-yard touchdown on fourth down early in the second quarter to give the Rebels a 14-0 lead. Lloyd later found Ryan Killette on a fly pattern for a 47-yard TD strike after a Bulldog turnover, and Bucky McCarty rumbled for a 14-yard score just before halftime.
Lloyd threw his second touchdown pass of the night on North Duplin's first drive in the third quarter as he found Desi Smith open in the post for a 38-yard score. Princeton finally got on the board late in the game as Gerrell Bogle ran for an 8-yard touchdown with 2:44 left in the contest.
Bogle led Princeton with 81 yards on 18 carries -- gaining all but 1 yard in the second half -- as the Bulldogs mustered just 108 yards in the game.
"I'm very proud of the way they fought back after the way they played last week," North Duplin coach Hugh Martin said. "They were very focused this week in practice, and we have to have a great week of practice next week."
Martin was referring to this Friday's home game against the Ayden-Grifton Chargers (6-2, 2-0), who are coming off a 57-0 win over Spring Creek. Princeton will host North Johnston (5-3, 2-0) the same evening.
NOTES: North Duplin played the game without leading rusher Michael Schilling (leg), who has 602 yards and eight rushing touchdowns this season. Martin said he hopes Schilling will be ready for the Ayden-Grifton game. ... Princeton quarterback Michael Radford had a tough time against the Rebels defense. He ran the ball 16 times for 19 yards and was just 1-of-6 passing for 10 yards. Jared McLamb, who had Princeton's only reception, left the game with a leg injury after being sandwiched by three Rebels after making the catch. He did not return to the game after being helped off the field. ... Alan Schilling played the whole fourth quarter at quarterback for North Duplin. He also had a fumble recovery on defense in the second quarter.
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