South Johnston hands Aycock first loss of season
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on October 17, 2009 11:07 PM
FOUR OAKS -- Definitely worth the price of admission.
And heart-stopping until the final play.
Dee Williams' recovery of his own fumble set up the eventual game-winning touchdown as South Johnston upended Charles B. Aycock 28-21 on a breezy, chilly Friday evening at Ronald Avery Stadium.
The Trojans (7-1) bounced the Golden Falcons (7-1) from the unbeaten ranks and improved to 2-0 in Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference play this season. Aycock dipped to 1-1 heading into Friday's homecoming battle against county rival Eastern Wayne.
"We came up on the short end," said Golden Falcons head coach Randy Pinkowski. "When you play a team that scores like they do, you've got to be able to match them. We didn't slow them down enough to stay with them tonight.
"They did a super job ... kept moving it, kept moving it."
Aycock nearly matched South Johnston's aerial attack.
First-year starter Tyler Farmer completed 11 passes for 146 yards and a touchdown, and directed two quality, time-consuming scoring drives. The junior quarterback and Craig Murdock hooked up for nine receptions and 132 yards, including their 12-yard touchdown strike to start the second quarter.
"This just adds to Tyler's experience," said Pinkowski. "In a tough game like this, battling back-and-forth and nip-and-tuck, you want the more-experienced quarterback. I have no problem what Tyler did. He kept several plays alive."
Farmer overcame a costly fourth-quarter sack and eventually pushed the Golden Falcons into the Trojans' red zone in the closing seconds. South Johnston's defense bottled up Farmer on the 10-yard line as time expired.
Meanwhile, South Johnston quarterback Pat Dunigan threw a steady diet of short passes against an Aycock defense that kept eight men in the box all evening. Dunigan completed 23 passes to seven different receivers, including touchdown passes to Dee Williams (9 catches, 134 yards) and Brondon Bussiere.
The short-yardage gains elongated drives, which followed Pinkowski's defensive scheme. However, the Golden Falcons recorded 38 tackles in the second quarter and fatigue factored into the second half.
"I think we were wore down a little bit," said Pinkowski. "We knew playing this team that you could be out there for long defensive stands. We were trying to dedicate ourselves to stopping the deep pass.
"The plan worked, but they got the play when they needed it."
Murdock's 32-yard, halfback pass to Adrian Howell turned a near-disastrous possession into a scoring march. The catch set up Tyheim Pitt's 14-yard touchdown romp, which created a 21-21 tie at the eight-minute mark.
A rejuvenated Aycock defense appeared to have South Johnston bogged down near midfield on the next series. Dunigan took the snap, rolled out and fired a pass to Williams, who caught the ball between two Golden Falcon defenders.
Williams fumbled and Aycock couldn't smother the bouncing ball. Williams scooped it up to give the Trojans a first-and-goal at the Golden Falcons' 2-yard line. Two plays later, Anthony Crumity bowled his way over from the 1 for the game-winning score.
"Big games always come down to mistakes and big plays," said Trojans coach Joe Salas. "We had a couple of big plays towards the end. We stayed patient in a game that was a slugfest.
"It was a heckuva fight."
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