09/20/10 — Prep football notebook

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Prep football notebook

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 20, 2010 1:47 PM

Oh no, not again.

North Duplin head coach Hugh Martin started thinking about two years ago when his team built a sizable lead, only to see Dixon come back and escape with a one-point victory Friday evening at H.E. Grubbs Field.

The Rebels seized a 20-7 lead through two quarters. The Bulldogs answered with a scoring drive to start the third period, and converted a fumble -- the only lost turnover by either team on the night -- into the game-tying touchdown.

"Don't remind me about that," said Martin. "I had the same nightmare on the sideline. They rose up and got it done when we had to. We found a way (to win)."

North Duplin prevailed 27-20 in overtime and ended a two-game losing streak against Dixon, which is 10-10 all-time against Carolina 1-A Conference schools since 2002.

I'll find a way

With urgent voices, Devin Oliver's teammates reminded him how important he was to the team's success during halftime and third-quarter action against Dixon on Friday evening.

"Suck it up."

"We need you."

Oliver exited the game with 2:37 left before intermission with cramps. He pointed to his left hamstring as he waddled off the field and the trainer wrapped the thigh in ice. He stretched on the sidelines while teammates Tyler Potter, Julio Mora and Todberick Gadberry handled the rushing duties during the third quarter.

"I had cramps in my hamstring, calf and groin ... everything from waist down," said Oliver. "While I sat over there (during) the third quarter, I knew the team needed me."

Oliver returned in the fourth, but made a huge impact in overtime.

The 160-pounder provided the game-winning touchdown on the Rebels' first play in the extra session. On Dixon's final play, Oliver knocked quarterback Tyler Johnson out at the 1-yard line.

"I just sucked it up and did what I had to do," said Oliver, who finished with 200-plus all-purpose yards.

Working out the kinks

North Duplin head coach Hugh Martin and his staff implemented a new offensive scheme two weeks ago.

The Rebels played near flawless in the opening half. They controlled the ball, had manageable second- and third-down play calls and put 20 points on the board.

In their previous six games, Martin's team had managed just five touchdowns in 24 quarters.

Dixon adjusted defensively and held the Rebels scoreless until overtime. The Dogs yielded 14 yards on eight offensive plays in the third quarter, and just 33 total yards in the second half.

"The second half, we kept missing blocks bad, especially on the inside," said Martin. "(We were) letting them come through before we could get to the edge and make something happen. We've got to do a better job of helping our linemen see that.

"They're still learning it (the offense) and we're still learning how to coach them up in it."