08/31/12 — James Kenan faces toughest test of 2012 season

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James Kenan faces toughest test of 2012 season

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on August 31, 2012 1:48 PM

Learning the recent history of the James Kenan football program is a study in consistency. The Tigers have finished above .500 each year during Ken Avent Jr.'s tenure as head coach.

So it should not surprise the folks in Warsaw that the team is off to a 2-0 start.

What may seem a little strange is how the Tigers got those two wins.

Just six players, through two games, have touched the ball and only five have logged multiple carries.

"Our guys understand that we are going to do whatever it takes to win," Avent Jr. said. "I think we have good depth at the running back position, and there are more guys that we would like to get involved, but that is going to depend on the game situation."

Marcelias Sutton, a preseason NCPreps.com All-State pick, currently leads the Tigers' run game with 259 yards on 25 carries. Fellow running back Ja'Quan Williams is on Sutton's heels with 246 yards on just 18 totes.

The other Tigers who have shared the brunt of the offensive load are Thomas Owens (12 carries, 134 yards), Kashawn Ammons (4 carries, 20 yards) and quarterback Dominique Barnes (14 carries, 25 yards).

James Kenan has amassed 773 yards of total offense in its two wins with 697 yards coming on the ground. Sutton has the team's lone reception -- a 76-yard touchdown against Southern Wayne in week one.

Sutton and Williams have accounted for 75 percent of the Tigers' offense thus far.

"Those two guys have been great and our line has done an amazing job creating lanes for them," Avent Jr. said. "(Sutton) is maybe a little stronger and runs a little more downhill, while (Williams) is maybe a little faster as far as breakaway speed. They are a lot alike and they complement each other well."

The Tigers face their toughest test of the young season Friday when county rival East Duplin visits. The Panthers (2-0 overall) sport one of eastern North Carolina's most athletic defenses.

"East Duplin is going to show us multiple defensive fronts," Avent Jr. said. "They beat a very good Northeastern team last week and they have a lot of confidence coming in at 2-0."

Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Bill Taylor Field.