11/16/08 — Rebels rally past Alleghany in 1-A west play

View Archive

Rebels rally past Alleghany in 1-A west play

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on November 16, 2008 2:00 AM

CALYPSO -- North Duplin needed someone, anyone to step up and make a play.

Senior Blake King delivered.

With the sixth-seeded Rebels and scrappy 11th-seeded Alleghany tied at 14-14 early in the fourth quarter, King's blocked punt set up Akeem Cox's game-winning touchdown run.

Toderick Gadberry's interception ended the Trojans' comeback hopes as North Duplin overcame an early 14-0 deficit, and earned a 21-14 win in the first round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A (small-school) western state playoffs.

"Blake, he's super," said Rebels head coach Hugh Martin. "He hardly ever comes off the field and he's a great leader for us. He came through there clean and that's a result of him going hard all the time. He never takes a play off."

Alleghany led 14-7 after one half and appeared poised to build upon its advantage after picking off North Duplin quarterback Marcus Kornegay early in the third quarter. The Trojans (4-8 overall) drove to the Rebels' 13-yard line before Devin Oliver's interception ended the scoring threat.

Five plays later, Cox raced 61 yards to the Alleghany 10-yard line before fumbling the ball. But teammate Troy Swanzey scooped up the loose ball and scampered into the end zone. Armando Prudencio's extra point evened the score at 14-14.

Cox paced the North Duplin offense with 146 yards on 19 carries.

The Trojans' following possession ended on Oliver's interception.

After visibly lacking intensity in the first half, the Rebels' defense came to life following halftime. North Duplin picked off Alleghany quarterback Jesse Moxley three times, held the Trojans to just 98 yards on the ground and didn't allow a point in the final two quarters.

"Our (defensive backs), we tell them all the time, that they have to have a short memory because people are going to come right back at them," said Martin. "They have to forget it and go make a play. That's what they did. They made some picks and they were huge for us."

The Trojans took the opening kickoff and marched 65 yards on eight plays. Sebastian Sandoval capped the drive with a 5-yard touchdown run. The lead grew to 14-0 on Moxley's 4-yard score with less than four minutes left in the first quarter.

North Duplin (6-6) finally got its offense in gear in the second quarter and converted a pair of fourth-downs on a 10-play drive that ended with Quentin Graham's 2-yard score.

"I thought we were ready," said Martin. "We've had two very emotional wins for us given where we've come from. We were a little flat early. This group just keeps fighting back and fighting back. We could have laid down and quit but we just didn't do it."

The Rebels travel to third-seeded Robbinsville (11-1) next Friday.