08/18/12 — Batchelor lives QB dream in closing minutes

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Batchelor lives QB dream in closing minutes

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on August 18, 2012 11:08 PM

SNOW HILL -- Austin Batchelor constantly fantasizes about throwing game-winning passes either in his sleep or while playing in the backyard with his buddies.

He lived his dream Friday evening.

Batchelor threw a 31-yard scoring strike to Daryn Parker late in the fourth quarter, Akeem Bynum added the decisive two-point conversion and the Rams turned back North Lenoir, 21-19.

The Rams claimed their 33rd victory over the Hawks since the series began in 1964.

"We keep it interesting around here," fifth-year Greene Central head coach Ken Grantham said.

No kidding.

Caleb Baird's 37-yard field goal easily split the uprights and gave North Lenoir a 19-13 advantage with 2 minutes, 49 seconds remaining in regulation.

The Rams' Kurtis Braswell received the kickoff and just missed returning it to the house for a touchdown. He was knocked out of bounds at the Hawks' 35-yard line.

A false start penalty and three offensive plays pushed the ball to the 33. On fourth-and-eight, Batchelor threaded the needle to Daryn Parker, who caught the ball between two North Lenoir defenders and zipped into the end zone.

Bynum's conversion capped the 94-second possession and put the Rams ahead 21-19.

"I've dreamed about that situation so many times," Batchelor said. "I wanted the ball in my hands. We were just trying to get a first down and I knew Daryn had had a rough night because he's usually on point.

"I knew if I could get him the ball, he would make a play."

Parker did.

"An amazing feeling," he grinned. "I just wanted to come through for my teammates."

Grantham said the Rams ran the same pass play in the opening half that resulted in a touchdown, but was negated due to an illegal motion penalty.

And North Lenoir head coach Calvin Sutton, who had just 21 players suited up for the game, lamented his team's inability to once again close out an opponent.

"It should have been an interception ... game over," Sutton said.

Batchelor completed 10 of 18 passes for 192 yards, and spread the wealth among six receivers. Michael Mitchell had 72 yards receiving, while Joseph Biggs had 57. Braswell led all rushers with 90 yards.

Devonte Sutton paced the Hawks with 77 yards on 11 totes. Quarterback Landon Baker collected two rushing touchdowns and the North Lenoir defense logged a third-quarter safety when it sacked Batchelor in the end zone.