10/29/11 — Rosewood continues dominance over archrival Princeton

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Rosewood continues dominance over archrival Princeton

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on October 29, 2011 11:05 PM

Rosewood sent its seniors out in style.

The Eagles played near-flawless football in the first half of a 34-19 victory over Carolina 1-A Conference archrival Princeton on Friday night at Branch Pope Field.

Both teams will be in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-A playoffs on Nov. 4, but how each squad enters the postseason could not be more different. Princeton has lost four straight games, while Rosewood has won of its last three.

"We have to see how it shakes out, but we have put ourselves in a pretty good spot," said Eagles head coach Robert Britt. "You never know what the records of the other schools who make the playoffs will be, but at 5-5 at least we have a chance to get a home game."

Rosewood made sure it took care of business in the first half.

Following a fumble on Princeton's first possession, the Eagles drove the ball 61 yards and jumped ahead 7-0 when Jamari McGown raced into the end zone from 14 yards out.

A second fumble by the Dawgs led to another Rosewood scoring drive to start the second quarter. Shane Whitley capped the possession with a one-yard plunge.

Rosewood (5-5 overall, 2-3 CC) caught a break when Princeton fumbled away another drive at its own 2-yard line. Greg Cavenaugh scooped up the ball and fell into the end zone with three minutes to play in the first half. Jay Sellers broke a 34-yard scoring run to put Rosewood ahead 28-0 just 90 seconds later.

"Too many turnovers, that's the bottom line," said Princeton head coach Russell Williamson. "I thought we did better in the second half on offense, but by that time we were too far behind."

Princeton (3-7, 1-4) finally got moving in the third quarter.

Javontae Davis broke free for a 45-yard scoring run late in the period to put the Dawgs on the board. A missed extra point left the score at 28-6. Rosewood answered early in the fourth quarter when Whitley capped a lengthy drive with a three-yard scamper and put the game away.

Princeton scored two touchdowns in the final two minutes, after the Rosewood had taken its starters out of the game. Davis broke a 91-yard run for a score and Williamson capped a four-play drive in the final minute with a five-yard scoring run.

"I am really proud of the group I've got this season," said Britt. "Our seniors did a good job on both sides of the ball, but especially on defense. We kept (Williamson) in the pocket and we closed down some throwing lanes."

Whitley led the Eagles with 148 yards on 25 carries. McGown added 90 yards on 10 totes. Taylor McGill completed one pass for 21 yards. Rosewood tallied 352 yards of total offense.

Williamson completed 11 passes for 118 yards. Jake Sullivan hauled in four catches for 50 yards. Davis finished with 192 yards on the ground and two touchdowns on 16 carries.