10/06/12 — North Duplin outlasts Princeton

View Archive

North Duplin outlasts Princeton

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on October 6, 2012 11:57 PM

PRINCETON - Moments after turning in a performance that is sure to be talked about for years, Tyler Royal refused to get caught up in making history or breaking records.

He was already thinking about an encore.

North Duplin's senior quarterback, Royal rushed for a career-high 425 yards and six touchdowns in a 41-20 victory on Friday night at Princeton. Royal had touchdown runs of 9, 20, 26, 56, 62 and 93 yards and averaged 10.8 yards a carry.

He just missed the state single-game rushing record of 490 yards set by Lejeune's Akile Jones last season. Royal also fell just shy of the state single-game rushing touchdown record of eight set by Harnett Central's Mike Hill in 2003.

"We all executed," Royal said. "It is up to the big linemen. Everybody up front did their job, without them nothing happens. I don't know if this is the best game of my career because we've got a couple more games ahead of us.

"This is a great team win."

The Rebels (5-2 overall, 1-1 CC) marched 86 yards on 13 plays on their first drive of the game. Using their running game exclusively, North Duplin had nine plays that covered six yards or more. Royal's 9-yard touchdown run and Antonio James' extra point gave the Rebels a 7-0 lead.

Royal ripped off a 62-yard touchdown run on North Duplin's next possession. Royal had 139 yards rushing by the end of the first quarter, while the Bulldogs were held to six offensive snaps.

"Tyler had a great night," Rebels' head coach Hugh Martin said. "He was reading the option real well. He does great things for us when he gets in the open field."

Royal found the end zone from 56 yards out on North Duplin's next possession as the lead grew to 20-0.

Princeton answered with Johnny Frazier's long kickoff return and his 29-yard touchdown run to cut the margin to 20-6.

Royal's 44-yard pass to Mitchell Thigpen helped set up Royal's 26-yard touchdown run as the Rebels' advantage swelled to 27-6. Royal had 248 rushing yards and four touchdowns at halftime.

Frazier's 30-yard run led to his 2-yard score and two-point conversion late in the first half as the Bulldogs pulled to within 27-14. Frazier finished with 158 yards on 13 carries.

North Duplin tallied 340 yards of offense in the first half and finished with a 593-245 edge.

Princeton (2-5, 1-1) drove to the Rebels' 15-yard line with three minutes left in the third quarter, but the Bulldogs' failed to convert on a pivotal fourth down.

"They have an awesome quarterback," Princeton head coach Derrick Minor said. "You can't mimic it in practice. A penalty here or there early is what killed the momentum and I felt like we never rebounded from that."

Royal's fifth touchdown run of the night came on a 20-yard score midway through the fourth quarter to stretch the lead to 35-14. He added a 93-yard touchdown run with 4 1/2 minutes left in the ballgame.

Kameron McDougald scored a late touchdown for Princeton.