Prep football notebook: James Kenan offense starting to find its groove
By From staff reports
Published in Sports on November 1, 2010 1:47 PM
Those disappointing four consecutive losses during midseason play were just bumps in the road for playoff-bound James Kenan.
The Tigers have been getting the breaks lately on defense and they've found a formidable 1-2 punch on offense -- junior quarterback Parker Jones and receiver James Owens Jr. The duo has been quietly re-writing the Kenan record books this season.
Owens Jr. is the new single-season record holder for receiving yards with 908. He broke the old mark of 687 set by Sam Aiken in 1998. A former all-Carolina 1-A Conference performer, Aiken starred at North Carolina and spent time with the Buffalo Bills of the NFL.
Jones threw for just 72 yards in a romp over Hobbton on Friday, and boosted his single-season total to 1,323. He's 285 yards shy of breaking the record held by Cedric Townsend, who helped guide Division III member N.C. Wesleyan to first-ever postseason appearance two years ago.
"Parker has played good the last couple of weeks ... continues to make plays and we're not having many turnovers," said James Kenan head coach Ken Avent Jr. "If we can continue to do that, we're going to be all right."
Owens Jr. faced constant double teams against Hobbton.
"We know people are going to do that, so other people to have step up and make some big plays," said Avent Jr. "A.J. Fredrick, (Jonathan) Webster and Parker did that when they took something away, so it was good for us that we were able to do that."
Proud of seniors
Aaron Sanders tucked his game plan in his back pocket and walked toward quarterback Ricky Brayboy, who sat quietly in the end zone.
Sanders knelt, patted Brayboy on the back and spoke for a few minutes. A disappointed Brayboy nodded his head and stared toward the darkened scoreboard as Sanders walked to another player standing at the fence.
The two spoke briefly. Sanders patted him on the back, gathered his thoughts and turned to walk off the dew-covered field.
It's a tough job consoling seniors who experience a disheartening loss in the final home game of their prep careers. Brayboy, Will Janning, Sean Stallings, A.J. Gills, Kenneth Freeman and Will Bland put plenty of blood, sweat and tears into the program.
"When I came in at the beginning of the season, I said I love this group of seniors," said Sanders after a loss to Goldsboro on Thursday. "I really do. I think the world of this group of seniors and think the world of this football team I've got right now. They're good kids, fun to be around and when they're hurting, I'm hurting.
"It's a good thing that they hurt because that means they have a lot of pride and they care about what they're doing."
Keep it simple
Goldsboro head coach Eric Reid didn't show his entire offensive package during a victory over Carolina 1-A rival Spring Creek.
Reid knew Ayden-Grifton coaches were in "The Swamp" getting a sneak peek at the Cougars' offense. The teams meet Friday at Cougar Stadium with the conference championship on the line.
"We tried to stay as vanilla as we could knowing that we didn't want to show a lot for Ayden-Grifton," said Reid. "There weren't a lot of bells and whistles. Luckily, the gameplan held for us."
The Cougars stayed in the straight-T formation on every offensive possession. They compiled just 223 yards of total offense, but benefited from a defense that converted six turnovers into 36 points.
Senior linebacker Andre Montgomery returned two interceptions to the house, while lineman Adrian Super picked up a fumble and ran 75 yards untouched to the end zone.
"Our defense did a wonderful job," said Reid. "(Ayden-Grifton) will be a nice tool to sharpen our tools going into the playoffs. It should be very interesting and I can't wait."
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