Rebels roll over Princeton
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on November 9, 2007 3:06 PM
CALYPSO -- Let Akeem Cox run?
Allow Doug Lloyd to find open receivers downfield?
Princeton picked its poison, twice, and came up empty on a bone-chilling Thursday evening at H.E. Grubbs Field.
Cox and Lloyd combined for five touchdowns in North Duplin's 35-0, opening-round N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A (small school) playoff victory. The unbeaten Rebels, seeded No. 1 in the West, entertain either long-time nemesis Hobbton or Union next Friday.
The Bulldawgs exited 2-10 overall.
Capitalizing on its advantage in talent, North Duplin (11-0 overall) rolled to its fourth shutout of the season. Cox piled up 194 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 18 carries. Lloyd completed five passes, including two touchdown strikes to Chris Graham.
Graham finished with a game-high 114 yards receiving.
"You pick your poison with them," said Princeton head coach Russell Williamson. "You're either going to stop the run or stop the pass. We don't match up good on the corners with their talented receivers, especially 32 (Graham.).
"I thought our kids played hard and did the best they could do."
The Rebels converted four of five first-half possessions into touchdowns. Cox found the end zone from 28 and 14 yards out. Lloyd hit Graham with scoring passes of 40 and 22 yards.
"We threw the ball well and our pass protection was decent most of the time," said North Duplin head coach Hugh Martin. "We'll see on the tape about our run game. We did some things well, but they had a lot of people in the box, which opened up our passing game.
"It was tough running inside some of the time."
Robert McCullen's 35-yard touchdown pass from Lloyd, on the second offensive play of the third quarter, accounted for the final margin.
Princeton ventured into North Duplin's red zone twice, but couldn't scratch in the scoring column. Trea Beavers' sack of senior quarterback Michael Radford and Billy Mello's fourth-down stop thwarted the Dawgs' offensive threat in the second quarter.
Senior defensive back Ryan Killette blocked Chris Hinton's 26-yard field goal attempt in the fourth quarter. The Rebels, ranked No. 5 in the final Associated Press prep 1-A poll, posted their third shutout of the season.
The Dawgs managed just 68 yards of total offense on 49 plays.
"I didn't think we played that poorly, honestly," said Williamson. "We had some opportunities, but I think it's a sign of us being as young as we are. Either Tuesday or Wednesday, I looked at our offense (in practice) and there seven sophomores on the field."
North Duplin averaged 10.8 yards on 40 offensive plays and finished with 432 yards of total offense.
Princeton 0 0 0 0 -- 0
North Duplin 6 22 7 0 -- 35
ND -- Cox 28 run (kick failed), 8:56
ND -- C. Graham 40 pass from Lloyd (Cox run), 9:58
ND -- Cox 14 run (Warren kick), 5:32
ND -- C. Graham 22 pass from Lloyd (Warren kick), 0:00
ND -- McCullen 35 pass from Lloyd (Warren kick), 11:13
First downs 7 17
Rushes-yds 38-36 32-283
Passing yds 32 149
Total yards 68 432
C-A-I 3-11-1 5-8-0
Fumbles-lost 5-1 2-2
Penalties-yds 8-72 12-114
RUSHING -- Princeton -- Kevin Foye 16-29; Benton Myers 5-12; Michael Radford 9-6; T.C. Creech 2-(-7); Will Gainey 1-(-1); Kwame Corprew 1-(-3); Will Whitley 3-4. North Duplin -- Akeem Cox 18-194, 2 TDs; Doug Lloyd 4-22; Billy Mello 2-9; Alan Schilling 3-19; James Stevens 5-39.
PASSING -- Princeton -- Michael Radford 2-7-1 32; T.C. Creech 1-4-0 1. North Duplin -- Doug Lloyd 5-8-0 149, 3 TDs.
RECEIVING -- Princeton -- Phillip Mitchell 1-1; Will Gainey 2-32. North Duplin -- Chris Graham 4-114, 2 TDs; Robert McCullen 1-35, TD.
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