Princeton ousts archrival Rosewood
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on November 18, 2012 1:53 AM
Minutes after the biggest win in his tenure at Princeton, first-year head coach Derrick Minor spoke to his team about the importance of continuing to build upon the Bulldogs' football tradition.
That tradition got even richer Friday evening.
Princeton dominated Rosewood 27-7 with countless former players and alumni watching, and clinched a spot in the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A (small-school) eastern regional championship game. The Bulldogs (5-8) visit Plymouth (13-0) next Friday.
Rosewood owns a 32-10 advantage in the series, including a triple-overtime win in late October. Princeton earned its first win over Rosewood since a 42-20 victory on Nov. 6, 2009 at Branch Pope Field.
"Rosewood has had the upper hand on us, there's no doubt about it," Minor said. "To beat them when it counts in the playoffs is huge. Now, we're going to the east finals and it is huge for the community."
The Bulldogs scored on the game's opening drive as Jamaal Allen took quarterback Michael Wooten's lateral and connected with kicker Ryne Woodard on a 38-yard touchdown pass.
"We just came out more aggressive," Minor said. "We had some plays that we scripted just in case. We had a few trick plays and we got that double-pass and it scored on the first drive. I think from that point on it set the tone for the whole game."
After an Eagles' punt, Princeton went on the march again.
The Bulldogs turned to tailback Johnny Frasier and the running game before Wooten hooked up with Kameron McDougald on a 31-yard touchdown pass to extend the lead to 13-0 late in the first quarter.
Rosewood struggled to get its offense on track throughout the first half. Princeton's defense consistently bottled up Eagles' running backs Josh Davis and Spencer Garrison.
After rushing for 401 yards and six touchdowns in the Oct. 26 win over the Bulldogs, Rosewood was held to 105 yards on the ground and failed to score an offensive touchdown. Eagles' quarterback Jacob Sasser was 6 for 19 through the air for 71 yards and was intercepted three times.
"They did a good job of attacking areas that we try to attack in our running game," Rosewood head coach Robert Britt said. "We're going to have to get a little more versatile as far as that is concerned in certain sets. There were times I thought we had some open receivers and there were times we dropped the ball.
"There has to be a rhythm to the offense and tonight there was no rhythm."
The Bulldogs' struck again just before halftime as Wooten tossed a 48-yard touchdown pass to Allen that increased the margin to 19-0. Wooten sustained what Minor described as a "bruised hip" on the play and did not return. He completed 5 of 7 passes for 100 yards and two touchdowns. The sophomore quarterback is expected to be available against Plymouth.
Princeton held a 168-62 edge in offense in the first half and a 6-3 advantage in first downs.
Rosewood finally got on the scoreboard late in the third quarter as Tevin Hines recovered a fumble and raced 13 yards to the end zone to pull the Eagles within 19-7.
With Wooten watching from the sidelines, Frasier carried the ball 12 times for 90 yards and a touchdown in the second half as valuable time ticked off the clock. Frasier put the game away with three minutes remaining on an improbable 19-yard touchdown run on which he appeared to be wrapped up multiple times before breaking free and racing to the end zone. The sophomore tailback finished with 118 yards on 22 carries.
"All week long Johnny's had this feeling ever since the North Edgecombe game that he could do it," Minor said. "In the first half he stuttered a little bit and we told him at halftime we were going to put this game on his shoulders. Him stepping up as a sophomore, that was huge."
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