12/07/17 — North Duplin: A Season in Review, Part III

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North Duplin: A Season in Review, Part III

By Justin Hayes
Published in Sports on December 7, 2017 5:53 AM

In a word, OORAH.  

Such was the aftermath on October 20, when North Duplin varsity football coach Hugh Martin gathered his team for a post-game huddle after its made-for-television, 40-39 overtime triumph over Carolina 1A foe Princeton -- which gave the Rebels a significant inroad to the league's outright claim.

And in a cadence unfamiliar -- at least to those who don't don the green-and-gold each Friday -- the ol' ball coach let go. Really let go.  

"Ennnjjjoooyyy iiittt," he shouted.

So they did, with much relief, after trailing the Bulldogs 26-13 and looking for much of the night like a team who'd grown weary of its unblemished fall campaign.

Nothing a little halftime adjustment couldn't cure, however.

"We really got back to playing some base defense," Martin said. "Sometimes we over-coach and over-prepare... and we let'em play, and they did a tremendous job -- a tremendous job."

While starting quarterback William Archer certainly got his share of the Sunday headlines -- 20 carries, 213 yards rushing and five house calls will do that for you -- perhaps it was linebacker Dylan Jones who should have received as much praise.

With just a squeeze over eight  minutes left in a pad-popping third stanza, Jones skillfully bagged a Princeton fumble and raced 45 yards to the barn to let everyone in attendance know -- these Rebels wouldn't go quietly.

And post-game, their normally stoic head coach saw to it.

Next up? Another old friend -- Rosewood.

North Duplin 28,

Rosewood 21

All square at 21 after three quarters in its second rivalry game in as many weeks, Rebel quarterback William Archer dialed back to his Ohio roots.

Call it the drive, with Rosewood -- led by the Tucker Chapin and Michael Reid -- on the receiving end of a 1A football oddity.

Starting from his own 15-yard line, Archer conjured up a slice of John Elway's finest hour, pacing the Rebels through seven -- yes, seven -- third downs to find paydirt from a yard out with under a minute remaining.

Just like that, North Duplin was still perfect.

As a whole, the Rebels were solid, rushing by committee for 318 yards and four touchdowns.

Defensively, Jones and Zander Martin paid the Gang Green freight, each logging an interception of Chapin.

Ten down, one to go.


North Duplin 42,


As third-act drama goes, this was over early, with North Duplin scoring at will in the first half and taking a 35-0 advantage to the locker room.

Colby Bass rushed for 110 yards on 12 touches, while Kenny Sheppard picked up 73 yards on 11 carries.

At last, the regular-season was over.

Next, the brackets.