North Duplin survives Dixon in overtime
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 18, 2010 11:17 PM
CALYPSO -- The streak is over.
Mired in a five-game skid that started with a season-ending playoff loss in 2009, North Duplin finally earned a long-awaited victory Friday evening.
Devin Oliver delivered two clutch plays in overtime and the Rebels escaped Dixon's clutches, 27-20, at H.E. Grubbs Field.
"It's great (to win) and we've been working so hard with a great group of kids," said North Duplin head coach Hugh Martin. "Finally, to achieve a little success on Friday to go along with other good things we've been doing, just makes everything you do feel better."
This was vintage North Duplin football -- for one half.
The Rebels' run-oriented offense chewed up real estate and erased time off the clock. Four possessions consumed more than 16 minutes as Martin's squad built a 20-7 advantage.
Oliver's 5-yard plunge and Julio Mora's 22-yard romp helped provide the two-touchdown advantage. Oliver returned the game's opening kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown.
"We were getting to the edge pretty good with Devin and we were able to pop Julio inside," said Martin.
Dixon scored on Tyler Johnson's 18-yard touchdown strike to Brandon Lungsford early in the second quarter.
The Bulldogs (1-3 overall) forged a 20-20 deadlock in the third quarter. Cameron Frye's 11-yard ramble closed the gap to 20-13 and a fumble set up Frye's second touchdown, a 1-yard plunge with 3:35 left in the quarter.
Frye led all rushers with 102 yards on 18 totes.
Oliver sat out the final two minutes of the opening half and the entire third quarter. His absence and the fatigue from the Rebels' two-way starters surfaced during that stretch.
North Duplin (1-4) netted just 14 yards on seven offensive plays.
"We got out of sync a little bit with some folks needing a rest, we missed a block or two and had a penalty that got us behind a couple of times instead of letting us finish off a couple of drives we had," said Martin. "That's something we've got to eliminate. The second half, we kept missing blocks."
Oliver, who accounted for 104 yards of total offense, returned in the fourth quarter. Penalties, dropped passes and inconsistent blocking troubled both teams as overtime loomed.
On the Rebels' first possession in the extra session, Oliver broke loose for a 10-yard touchdown on the first play. James Kornegay threw a solo block which allowed Oliver to waltz untouched into the end zone.
"I saw what was going on with their defense and saw they had eight or nine (guys) in the middle, which is where we were going," said Oliver. "I said they were blitzing to middle and all I needed was one great block on the outside."
The Bulldogs took over and received a break on a third-down, pass interference call. The Rebels' defense pinned back its ears and made three great stops, including Mora's tackle of Frye behind the line of scrimmage and Oliver's hit on Johnson at the 1 on the game's final play.
"We've been waiting for this win for the longest (time)," said Oliver.