10/13/12 — Chargers stifle Rebels' rushing attack

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Chargers stifle Rebels' rushing attack

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on October 13, 2012 11:05 PM

CALYPSO -- North Duplin struck first.

Ayden-Grifton answered in strong fashion.

The Chargers' defense bottled up the Rebels' juggernaut offense and cruised to a 33-14 victory Friday evening at H.E. Grubbs Field.

North Duplin produced its second-lowest scoring output of the year and manufactured just 218 yards of total offense -- well below its season average of 373.3 heading into the Carolina 1-A Conference affair.

"They're good up front, run to the ball well, get off blocks which is the main thing," Rebels' head coach Hugh Martin. "We couldn't sustain blocks long enough to move the ball consistently. I was hoping we could get three or four (yards) here or there off the option game to keep the drive alive.

"We'd get three on first down, but couldn't get the next three."

No. 9-ranked Ayden-Grifton (7-1 overall, 3-0 Carolina) recorded nine stops behind the line of scrimmage and allowed zero yards on six other plays. The Chargers limited the Rebels to three third-down conversions and only one in the second half -- Daron Goodman's 37-yard touchdown gallop up the middle on third-and-8 late in the third period.

Goodman finished with 54 yards on nine rushes.

North Duplin quarterback Tyler Royal churned out a hard-earned 62 yards and one touchdown on 19 totes. The senior quarterback missed two offensive series in the second half after twisting his ankle, an injury that silenced the Rebels' homecoming crowd.

They let out a huge, collective sigh of relief and clapped when he attempted to walk off the field under his own power.

"We could never get Tyler a good crease anywhere to get up the field and do much (tonight)," Martin said. "He's a key for us, really needs to have a chance in the open field for us to have a sustained drive."

The Rebels compounded their troubles with 11 penalties. Four holding infractions halted possessions and gave the ball back to the Chargers, who benefited from good field position all night. Ayden-Grifton started six drives at its 40-yard line or better and had two possessions begin inside North Duplin's 45-yard line.

Royal's 13-yard touchdown run put the Rebels in front just 3 1/2 minutes into the game. The Chargers responded with 24 consecutive points on touchdown runs from Tyree Blount, quarterback Brandon Larry, Rodney Nelson and a 28-yard field goal from Felipe Ramirez. Nelson led all rushers with 156 yards, while teammate Drew Turnage added 106.

Larry added a third-quarter touchdown run and Ramirez capped the scoring with a 38-yard field goal after Goodman's score.