Clark's TD catch lifts Aycock past So. Wayne
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on October 5, 2013 11:30 PM
PIKEVILLE -- The screen pass over the middle was open all night.
Charles B. Aycock connected at the right time.
Neil Clark hauled in the game-winning 62-yard touchdown reception with 74 seconds remaining, and the Golden Falcons escaped county rival Southern Wayne, 42-35, in a pivotal Eastern Carolina 3-A/4-A Conference affair Friday evening.
Clark accounted for all six touchdowns and 198 yards of total offense on 23 plays for Aycock, which snapped a three-game skid.
"Neil made the play," CBA head coach Steve Brooks said. "The blocking was there and Neil still had to do the running. He's a great back ... doesn't quit on a play, doesn't want to be tackled. He smells the end zone better than any back I've ever had.
"He wants to score and gets mad when he doesn't score."
Clark almost didn't have the chance.
Tied at 35-35 with 8 minutes left in regulation, Southern Wayne's Jartarvis Bradshaw broke loose for a 56-yard touchdown run, which was negated by a holding penalty. The Saints regrouped and started to chew up yards -- and time -- with their ground game.
Another holding penalty and two false-start infractions caused the possession to stall at the CBA 25-yard line with 1:49 to go.
"When it came time to make plays, we had a few mistakes ... a few penalties," Saints head coach David Lee said. "We fought hard to overcome them. We knew what we had to do and I thought we were doing a pretty good job of it, but penalties are a part of the game."
Aycock took over at the Saints' 25 and quarterback TJ Morrow hit Trae Woodard with a 13-yard completion. After a dropped pass near the Golden Falcons' sideline, Morrow found Clark on the screen pass and the senior did the rest.
Clark headed toward the sideline, but turned upfield when Woodard threw a key block outside. He broke one tackle and crossed the goal line a few seconds later.
"I'm thinking time is clicking down, I've got to get the ball and save as much time as I can," Clark said. "If I see anything, shoot (up the field), but if I don't, I have to make sure I get out of bounds with some yardage at the same time.
"(There were) key blocks. I could have gotten tackled right there."
The Golden Falcons (4-3 overall, 1-1 ECC) earned their fourth win over the Saints (2-4, 0-1) in their last six meetings. It was the smallest margin of victory by either team since a 20-18 win by Southern Wayne in 1996.
The teams combined for six touchdowns on the first nine offensive possessions of the game. The Saints led 21-20 at halftime and extended their advantage to 28-20 on Tyaire Allen's 32-yard touchdown scamper.
Allen finished with 95 yards rushing, while Marquis Baldwin led all rushers with 132 yards. Morrow accounted for 274 yards of total offense, including 214 passing, for the Golden Falcons.
Overall, the teams combined for 862 yards of total offense on 118 plays.
"There was a lot riding on this game," Lee said. "The winner probably makes the playoffs, if I'm not mistaken. Aycock is in the playoffs and we've got to go win one. We explained that to the kids coming in and I thought my kids battled hard, I really did."
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