James Kenan dumps Wallace-Rose Hill in Super Six tilt
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on November 5, 2006 2:01 AM
TEACHEY -- Victory is like fine wine.
It's years in the making and moments in the tasting.
James Kenan had waited seven long and frustrating years to sample that sweet nectar of triumph against county archrival Wallace-Rose Hill. The Tigers finally uncorked a most-satisfying and delectable win in convincing fashion Friday evening.
Javone Devane's third-quarter interception return for a touchdown spearheaded the Tigers' 28-12 conquest of the No. 2-ranked Bulldogs before an overflow crowd at Thell B. Overman Field. James Kenan, ranked No. 4 statewide, capped a perfect season at 11-0 and emerged the Class 1-A Super Six Conference champion.
The Tigers claimed their first league crown since 1998 and snapped the Bulldogs' 29-game win streak against Super Six opposition. They should earn the No. 1 seed overall for the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-AA (large-school) playoffs, which begin Nov. 10.
"You never know," said first-year Kenan coach Ken Avent Jr. "(The seed) will depend on how many undefeated teams there are. We're just waiting for them to call and say who you've got."
James Kenan collected its second road win at Teachey since 1997 and picked up win No. 21 in the series, which dates back to World War I. An estimated crowd of 6,000-plus watched the two teams duel for 24 minutes with the Tigers on top 7-6 at halftime.
"It's about as good an atmosphere you want to be around," said Avent Jr. "The field was packed and I thought we played well. We took advantage of some of their turnovers. When we turned it over, we stayed strong and didn't give them too much."
Wallace-Rose Hill (10-1) received the second-half kickoff and barely got started offensively when Devane turned in his pick six. Jorge Vasquez booted the second of four successful PATs to give James Kenan a 14-6 lead.
"Huge," said Avent Jr. of Devane's interception. "That gave us a lot of momentum in the second half ... turned the tide a little bit in our favor because it was pretty even at that point.
"With the quarterback they've got, any time you can slow him down some, you've done a good job."
Quarterback Alex Monk, who missed the last two games, gave the Tigers a two-touchdown advantage with a 1-yard dive later in the third quarter. Vasquez converted his third PAT to make it 21-6.
The Bulldogs pulled within 21-12 as time expired in the third.
Brandon Satchell collected his second touchdown of the night, an 8-yard run, with less than five minutes remaining in regulation. Satchell rambled for a game-high 93 yards on 21 carries, including a 5-yard touchdown run in the opening quarter.
James Kenan owned a slim 204-200 edge in total offense. Each team committed three turnovers and combined to run a total of 100 offensive plays.
Josh Hicks emerged the Tigers' defensive leader with nine solo tackles and five assists. Ahkeim Faison contributed five tackles and a team-leading 10 assists. Keon Wilson posted five tackles and three assists to go along with a fumble recovery.
Darius Hand provided three tackles, four assists and one sack.
"The kids have wanted it all year," said Avent Jr. of the Super Six championship. "They've done what they were supposed to do all season and the hard work has paid off. They've just got to keep rolling now."
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