1-A West semifinals: Rebels eliminate East Wilkes
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on November 25, 2007 2:02 AM
CALYPSO -- After hearing doubts all week from East Wilkes about the toughness of North Duplin's defense and the caliber of football in the eastern part of the state, the Rebels silenced their critics in resounding fashion on Friday night.
North Duplin's defense yielded just 90 yards of total offense and forced three turnovers in a 20-0 rout of the 13th-seeded Cardinals. The top-seeded Rebels (13-0 overall) earned their second consecutive trip to the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A (small school) western regional championship game.
"I thought we got after it real well," Rebels head coach Hugh Martin said. "I was real pleased with how we did that. Our defense came to play. They had it in their head they were going to be physical."
Earlier this week, East Wilkes (5-9) head coach Monty Chipman pointed out in an interview with another publication that the Rebels had only defeated three teams with winning records. He questioned whether North Duplin had been challenged all season.
Chipman added that his club played in a conference where the style of football was more physical. He said the Cardinals wanted to bring that into their contest with the Rebels.
East Wilkes got more than it wished for on a bone-chilling night at H.E. Grubbs Field. North Duplin limited highly-touted tailback Aaron Baugess was held to just 38 yards on 21 carries and never allowed the Cardinals to get within the Rebels' 20-yard line.
The North Duplin defense recorded 13 stops which resulted in zero or negative yardage. Three of those plays resulted in turnovers.
When the Cardinals did move the ball offensively, they often paid for it. Wide receiver Charlie Sale got a pass over the middle for 21 yards midway through the first quarter, but instantly had his bell rung upon catching the ball by North Duplin's Doug Lloyd.
"We think our conference is pretty good, too," Martin said. "We certainly wanted to do everything we could to let others know that we can play a little bit, too."
Lloyd's 41-yard scoring strike to Ryan Killette at nearly the halfway point of the first quarter put North Duplin on top 7-0. The Rebels held that advantage at halftime.
After the Cardinals fumbled deep in their own territory, Billy Mello rumbled into the end zone from a yard out late in the third quarter. The extra point was no good, and North Duplin led 13-0.
Lloyd put the finishing touches on the victory with his 15-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter. He ended up with 84 yards rushing on 14 carries, and had 101 yards through the air.
"Doug's a great leader for us," Martin said. "He sees things. He'll say 'coach, I see this.' A lot of times that's what we go and do."
Next for North Duplin is Super Six 1-A member Lakewood, which has won each of its last two playoff games by one point. The Leopards (10-4) edged South Stanly 22-21.
"I think they're very hungry," Martin said of his team. "We had a chance last year and came up short. It's good to get back to this point. We'll see what we can do next week."
East Wilkes 0 0 0 0 -- 0
North Duplin 7 0 6 7 -- 20
ND -- Killette 41 pass from Lloyd (Guzman kick), 6:12
ND -- Mello 1 run (Guzman kick failed), 2:01
ND -- Lloyd 15 run (Guzman kick), 9:22
First downs 6 9
Rushes-yds 33-49 24-159
Passing yds 41 101
Total yards 90 260
C-A-I 5-14-1 8-13-0
Fumbles-lost 2-2 2-2
Penalties-yds 5-35 12-100
RUSHING -- East Wilkes -- Aaron Baugess 21-38; Gaylan Tharpe 2-(-4); Tyrel White 3-10; Micah Bryan 3-(-3); Jesse White 1-5; Jordan Jackson 1-(-3). North Duplin -- Doug Lloyd 14-84, TD; Akeem Cox 16-67; Billy Mello 4-8, TD.
PASSING -- East Wilkes -- Graylan Tharpe 4-13-1 26; Micah Bryan 1-1-0 15. North Duplin -- Doug Lloyd 8-13-0 101, TD.
RECEIVING -- East Wilkes -- Charlie Sale 2-36; Micah Bryan 3-5. North Duplin -- Ryan Killette 7-93, TD; Chris Graham 1-8.
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