Northern Durham football coach Gary Merrill saw what he expects out of his Northern Durham football team in a 33-20 win over Millbrook.."This was Northern Durham football. It's the attitude, the attitude of trying to play smart, physical, and fast," said Merrill.
By David Justice
RALEIGH - Northern Durham football coach Gary Merrill saw what he expects out of his Northern Durham football team in a 33-20 non-conference football victory over Millbrook.
"This was Northern Durham football. It's the attitude, the attitude of trying to play smart, physical, and fast," Merrill said.
The Knights, who opened the season with losses to Middle Creek and Wake Forest-Rolesville, took advantage of a pair of Millbrook mistakes to score twice in the third quarter to pull away from a 13-13 halftime tie.
"That's been Northern football through the years, taking advantage of things they give you. You've got to capitalize on their mistakes and cut down on our mistakes," Merrill said. "That's what we did. Tonight I think we had one fumble and they broke one big play on us, but other than that we did a good job."
For Millbrook coach Clarence Inscore it was too much of what he has already seen in his team's 1-3 start. Inconsistency wiped out some big plays by the Wildcats. But also, injuries continued to hamper the Wildcats. After just four games, nine starters are out, four of which are done for the season.
"I've never seen a rash of injuries like this," Inscore said. "Four of our players out are defensive linemen. We're playing a lot of young guys out there."
Northern also diplayed an old Knights trait with a seven minutes, grind-it-out drive that covered 79 yards for a touchdown that ended the scoring with four minutes left in the game.
"That offensive line played pretty much last year," said Merrill, citing Justice Dixon, Miles Braswell-Sample, Gilbert Hannah, Mike Schkesinger, Eric Edwards, and Brandon Strickland. "Both runningbacks had good games. K.Y. Flemming had a great game and Alphonso Gbojueh came in there and did a good job."
Flemming rushed for 146 yards, with touchdown runs of 2, 3, 8, and 2 yards. Gbojueh got the final score on a 14-yard run.
After Millbrook trailed 13-0, linebacker Joe Bufford returned a fumble 37 yards for a score and sophomore Marcus Marshall, whose older brother keith is a freshman runningback at Georgia, scored from the five. Daminick Wilkins added a 6-yard scoring run to cut the Knights' lead to 27-20 early in the final period.
"Defensively, we missed some tackles," Merrill said. "But Millbrook has some really good skill people who can make you miss."
Both teams open conference play next week. Northern faces Person County, while Millbrook plays Cap Eight foe Broughton.
"Hopefully getting into the conference will be a new season for us," Inscore said.