Spartan defense stingy early, but top-seeded Rebels claim home win
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on November 18, 2007 2:27 AM
CALYPSO -- Despite facing an inspired Union defense, North Duplin got the job done Friday evening.
Senior quarterback Doug Lloyd rushed for two touchdowns and threw for a third score as the Rebels prevailed 30-12 in the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A (small school) playoffs.
The West's top seed, North Duplin (12-0 overall) entertains 13th-seeded East Wilkes next Friday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at H.E. Grubbs Field.
Union concluded the year 5-8.
"They came to play and were prepared for this game," said Lloyd. "They were sticking ... hitting pretty hard. We didn't have that big play we usually have on the first or second drive, so we had to buckle down.
"We knew it was going to be a fight from then on."
North Duplin fumbled on its opening possession, but Union couldn't capitalize. Held to zero yards on three rushes, Cox finally broke loose for a 28-yard gain, which set up his lone touchdown -- a 6-yard run -- on the Rebels' second offensive series.
Union refused to abandon its game plan.
The Spartans stopped Cox again and forced a three-and-out. The Rebel coaching staff made a slight adjustment and it paid dividends on the next possession.
"We started to run a little two-back set to throw off what they were doing and we started to move the ball a little more on the ground," said Martin.
Cox, who finished with 117 yards rushing, reeled off a 33-yard run on a first-down play. North Duplin overcame a 15-yard penalty three plays later when Lloyd hit Ryan Killette with a 31-yard strike down the right sideline.
Lloyd capped the drive with a 17-yard touchdown run.
Union answered on its next series. Facing third-and-6 from its 46-yard line, senior running back Travis Williams appeared stopped at the line of scrimmage. But he broke containment and rambled 54 yards for a touchdown to pull the Spartans within 12-6.
"When he bounced outside, we won't in the right position," said Martin.
But Union generated little offense after Williams' score. The Spartans, who missed their starting quarterback and tailback due to injuries, collected just 19 yards and one first down on their next 15 offensive plays.
"I knew we had to play a nearly-perfect game in terms of ball security and we weren't able to do that," said Union head coach Dr. John Ward. "We stalled on offense until midway through the second period, and we got some things going. Our defense did a good job keeping us in the game through the first period and a half.
"But, I guess we just put them on the field too many times."
Williams' touchdown rejuvenated the Spartan defense, which stopped Cox twice behind the line of scrimmage on option plays. But Lloyd's 40-yard pass to a diving Quentin Graham gave the Rebels a first down on Union's side of the field.
Two plays later, Lloyd weaved his way through the Union defense and down the sideline for a 43-yard touchdown. However, the play drew a penalty that was eventually waived off and confused both coaching staffs.
"(The referee) told me that their guy illegally cut block, but that our guy didn't get hit with it, so they didn't call it," said Ward.
North Duplin put the game out of reach with two third-quarter touchdowns. Killette grabbed a nine-yard scoring pass from Lloyd and Robert McCullen returned a fumble 29 yards into the end zone.
Lloyd ended the night with 96 yards passing and 112 yards rushing. Overall, the Rebels accumulated 347 yards of total offense compared to 135 for the Spartans.
Union 0 6 0 6 -- 12
N. Duplin 6 12 12 0 -- 30
ND -- Cox 6 run (kick failed), 4:49
ND -- Lloyd 17 run (pass failed), 8:25
U -- Tr. Williams 54 run (kick failed), 7:20
ND -- Lloyd 43 run (run failed), 4:21
ND -- Killette 13 pass from Lloyd (pass failed), 5:05
ND -- McCullen 29 fumble return (run failed), 4:16
U -- Henry 3 run (run failed), 10:28
First downs 7 12
Rushes-yds 36-129 42-251
Passing yds 6 96
Total yards 135 347
C-A-I 1-11-0 5-10-0
Fumbles-lost 1-1 2-2
Penalties-yds 11-102 18-155
RUSHING -- Union -- Howard Bynum 8-44; Travis Williams 11-60, TD; Ronald Gray 7-10; Lorenzo Henry 5-18; Will Moore 2-2; T.J. Williams 2-1; E.J. Smith 1-(-6). North Duplin -- Akeem Cox 24-117, TD; Doug Lloyd 11-112, 2 TDs; Billy Mello 7-22.
PASSING -- Union -- Howard Bynum 1-10-0 6; Ronald Gray 0-1-0 0. North Duplin -- Doug Lloyd 5-10-0 96, TD.
RECEIVING -- Union -- Zach Alphin 1-6. North Duplin -- Chris Graham 2-12; Ryan Killette 2-44, TD; Quentin Graham 1-40.
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