11/10/12 — Princeton rolls past N. Edgecombe

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Princeton rolls past N. Edgecombe

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on November 10, 2012 11:35 PM

LEGGETT -- Princeton needed its initial offensive and defensive series to size up perennial Class 1-A football powerhouse North Edgecombe on Friday evening.

Then someone forgotten to tighten the Bulldogs' leash.

Johnny Frasier flirted with the 1,500-yard rushing plateau and Dillon Pace scampered for touchdowns in a 43-12 romp over the Warriors during second-round action in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-A (small-school) playoffs.

Princeton gets its chance at redemption -- a third-round playoff date next Friday at archrival Rosewood. The teams played a three-overtime thriller three weeks ago with the Eagles emerging victorious on Spencer Garrison's two-point conversion.

North Edgecombe (5-6 overall) got exactly what it wanted during the first seven minutes of the game. The Warriors' defense recorded two stops behind the line of scrimmage and forced a punt on the Dogs' opening possession.

Third-string quarterback Rontarius Graham directed a 69-yard drive that came up empty on downs inside Princeton's red zone.

"Our first offensive series we scripted because we had no idea what kind of defense they were going to show us," Bulldogs head coach Derrick Minor said. "The teams that they played are either 'I' teams or wishbone teams. We scripted about five plays to see how they would line up, what they would do with our motion.

"They shut us down."

But the Dogs found a solution.

They pressured the edges, which enabled Frasier and Pace to run free inside all evening. Frasier pounded out 163 yards and two touchdowns on 16 totes, while Pace contributed 86 yards and two scores.

Quarterback Michael Wooten completed 6 of 10 passes for 169 yards, and rushed for two touchdowns.

Princeton owned a 461-251 advantage in total offense.

"Their ends were coming up and we could run all night on either sides of the field," Wooten said. "All week we knew we could win, had confidence. We just put our heart into it and did it."

North Edgecombe uncharacteristically sputtered most of the evening in its misdirection offense. The Warriors committed costly holding penalties and fumbled 11 snaps on the center-quarterback exchange.

The Bulldogs' defense recorded 19 tackles that either resulted in zero or negative yardage.

"That one stop (early) got us pumped up and that's how it's been all year," Princeton outside linebacker Jake Sullivan said. "We knew we had to stop the run up the middle, they were running behind the tackles and we had to clog those holes.

"We did a pretty good job of it."

Wooten's 91-yard pass to Jamaal Allen in single coverage set up the Bulldogs' first touchdown -- a 2-yard plunge by Wooten late in the opening quarter. Frasier and Wooten each punched in a second-quarter touchdown, and Princeton never lost its three-TD advantage the rest of the evening.