11/05/11 — James Kenan dominates East Columbus

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James Kenan dominates East Columbus

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on November 5, 2011 11:54 PM

WARSAW -- Friday night's football game at James Kenan was miserable for just about everyone in attendance.

For most of the evening it seemed like the Tigers were the only ones having any fun in the cold, windy and wet conditions.

James Kenan scored four touchdowns in the first quarter and went on to rout East Columbus 40-18 in the opening round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-AA (large school) state football playoffs at Bill Taylor Field.

The Tigers (7-4 overall) travel to Red Springs on Friday.

"It wasn't pretty tonight, but it kind of played in to our hand," James Kenan head coach Ken Avent Jr. said. "Our defense set us up in great field position early and we took advantage with our running game."

The Tigers kicked the ball off to start the game and pinned the Gators inside their own 12-yard line. Three plays later, an East Columbus fumble on a potential punt was recovered by T.J. Fullwood in the end zone for a James Kenan touchdown.

The Gators fared no better on their second drive and fumbled the ball away for a second time. Four plays later, the Tigers extended their lead when Marcelias Sutton broke a 13-yard scoring run.

After another failed possession by the visitors, James Kenan made the score 20-0 on a second scoring run by Sutton. A 29-yard run by Devon Best pushed the Tigers' advantage to 28-0 late in the first period.

"Our offense isn't all that tricky to begin with," Avent Jr. said. "So the fact that it was windy and raining did not really change what we were going to run. For us it was more about executing the plays than trying to change our gameplan."

Best broke a 90-yard run on the Tigers' final possession of the first half that made the score 34-0. With the end result no longer in doubt, the teams decided to run the clock in the second half.

East Columbus got on the board on the first play of the third quarter when Nick McClure broke a 75-yard scoring run. James Kenan answered with a long drive that ended with a one-yard scoring plunge by Jaime Gonzalez.

Ahead 40-6 in the fourth quarter, Avent Jr. found plenty of action for his reserves. East Columbus scored early in the final period when Isaiah Day recovered a fumble and raced 31 yards to pay dirt. McClure capped the scoring with a one-yard plunge in the final two minutes.

McClure led the Gators with 108 yards on 12 carries.

Best led the Tigers with 120 yards on just five carries. Sutton added 57 yards on eight totes.

Neither team attempted a pass during the game.