Cleveland shines in big win over West Johnston

The Rams put up more than 500 yards of offense, defense stiffens in key spots

cbest@newsobserver.comSeptember 1, 2012 

— Isaac Martin with a full head of steam is not an ideal prospect for opposing football teams. Martin running at top speed behind a dominating offensive line is even less appealing.

Martin wasn’t the only part of seventh-ranked Cleveland’s attack going full speed Friday night, the Ram defense was as well and standout quarterback Tre Joyner and his receivers as the Rams rolled by rival West Johnston 49-12 before an overflow crowd of 3,200 at Cleveland Stadium.

Martin ran for three first-half touchdowns and 171 yards on 15 carries.

“I was running a little harder tonight, that’s what a game like this does,” Martin said. “The hard work we put in in the weight room all off-season paid off. The offensive line was rolling, opening holes and letting me get at full speed quickly.”

Joyner, Martin’s backfield mate, added another 130 yards rushing, a couple of TDs on the ground and one through the air to Alex Raines. He was 13-for-15 passing for 187 yards with an interception on a tipped pass.

“It’s been a great week all around,” said Cleveland coach Marc Morris, whose team improved to 3-0. “There was a little more pep in our step. We did a great job against a very good West Johnston team.”

The Rams put the game away with a 28-point second quarter, starting a four TD scoring run after West temporarily pulled within a touchdown.

The Wildcats had cut the lead to 14-6 when senior quarterback Justin Carroll hit Jonathan Stevens in stride down the right sideline on a 56-yard bomb with 10:02 to play in the second quarter, answering Joyner’s 10-yard run just 39 seconds earlier.

The Wildcats got the ball back when Blake Mouzon picked off that tipped Joyner pass ending another Cleveland drive.

That’s when the Ram defense stepped up its pressure, sacking Carroll back at the 2-yard-line and forcing a short punt. It took just one play for Martin to cover the distance on a 29-yard run for a 21-6 lead.

“West moved the ball well against us, but we did a better job once they got within the 20-yard-line,” Morris said. “Holding that offense and that quarterback to 12 points is a great night for our defense.”

Cleveland caught West players behind the line of scrimmage for losses twice on the next drive, which ended with another punt.

Four plays later, Martin ran in from 9 yards out, making it 28-6.

West drove inside of the Cleveland 20 in the final minute of the half, but the Rams batted away the last-play heave into the end zone to keep the lead at three touchdowns.

The Wildcats (1-2), who have scored just 26 points in their last two games after a 42-point output on opening night against Fuquay-Varina, were held under two yards per rushing attempt on the night.

After Raines’ TD reception, West’s Xavier Carter caught a 29-yard TD from Ryne Turner in the third quarter. Cleveland’s Brandon Cooley scored on a 1-yard run in the fourth.

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service