Reserve quarterbacks shine in regular-season finales

tstevens@newsobserver.comOctober 30, 2012 

  • Wakefield quarterback Connor Mitch’s regular season Opponent, score,yards, TD Riverside, 46-21; 316; 3 Holly Springs, 49-20; 396;5 Knightdale, 34-7; 291; 4 East Wake, 55-41; 357;5 Sanderson, 57-20; 461;7 Millbrook, 54-21; 321;5 Leesville Road, 24-52; 187;3 WF-Rolesville, 33-19; 200;3 Enloe, 42-6; 322;5 Broughton, 70-42; 667;9 Heritage, 42-21; 165;4 Totals;3683;53

Broughton, Millbrook and Garner turned to their former backup quarterbacks Friday night and the three understudies were outstanding in leading their teams to victory.

Broughton’s Patrick Kearney made his first career start behind center and passed for six touchdowns and 342 yards in a 49-21 victory over Sanderson. Kearney had five touchdown tosses and more than 300 yards in the first half.

Brian Miller came in for an injured Lamar Harris in the second period for Millbrook. Miller passed for four touchdowns and 213 yards. He also rushed for 123 yards in the 51-7 win over Enloe.

Garner’s Vincent Jefferies, who as in an automobile accident on Friday, played one series and led the Trojans to their first touchdown in a 56-14 win over Harnett Central. Brighton Hudson came in as the reliever and completed 11 of 15 passes for 127 yards.

Wild game at Ravenscroft: Veteran Ravenscroft coach Ned Gonet has never been caught up in a game like Friday’s 86-49 loss to Harrells Christian. Harrells led 49-35 at the half, but blew the game open by outscoring the Ravens 24-0 in the third period.

Harrells’ Russell Washington rushed for 453 yards and scored on runs of 51, 1, 27, 52, 20, 37 and 13 yards.

The Ravens’ Jamie Herakovich completed 24 of 43 passes for 420 yards with five touchdowns. He also ran for a touchdown.

Touchdown throws: Wakefield’s Connor Mitch threw for a season-low 165 yards in a 42-21 win over Heritage, but the University of South Carolina recruit still had four touchdown passes, including three to University of North Carolina recruit Jordan Fieulleteau.

Championship times: The N.C. High School Athletic Association 4AA championship game will be played on Dec. 1 at 11 a.m. at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan Stadium. The 4A final will be the night before at 7:30.

Games at Kenan are scheduled around UNC men’s basketball games. That wasn’t the case in 1998 when Richmond County defeated Garner in the finals. There were massive traffic problems after the game.

At BB&T Field in Winston-Salem, the 2-A game is at 11 a.m., followed by the 3-A final at 3 p.m. and the 3-AA championship at 7 p.m.

At N.C. State’s Carter-Finley Stadium, the 1A game is at 11 a.m., the 1AA final at 3 p.m. and the 2AA game at 7 pm.

Tribute: Broughton paid tribute to former student Darrion Hicks before its win over Sanderson.

Hicks was a 2010 Broughton graduate and was killed in Afghanistan in July.

Randall Williams spoke at the earlier Broughton Hall of Fame inductions and said it was typical of Hicks to volunteer to enter the service, volunteer to specialize in land mines, and volunteer for duty in Afghanistan.

“He always wanted to help,” Johnson said. “That’s just the person that he was. He wanted to keep his friends safe.”

Dropping in: Harnett Central had the game ball delivered by parachute Friday night before the kickoff of its game against Garner. Among the parachutists was a double-decker with one jumper on the shoulders of another.

The Pods: The NCHSAA placing teams in pods for the playoffs has created some interesting first-round pairings and lots of rematches.

During the regular season, Wakefield beat Wake Forest-Rolesville 33-19; Garner beat Athens Drive 42-7; Leesville Road beat Heritage 17-14; Fuquay-Varina beat Green Hope 21-17; and Clayton beat Knightdale 42-21.

A majority of coaches don’t like the pod system because of the rematches, but the pod has been good to Wake County teams.

Garner won the 4A title in 1987 and reached the finals in 1998, losing to Richmond County 36-6.

No Wake team reached the finals again until after the pod was adapted. Wake Forest-Rolesville lost to Matthews Butler 44-0 in 2010 and Garner lost to Greensboro Page 35-21 in 2011.

Correlation is not causation, but the pod certainly hasn’t made the road to the finals harder for area teams.

Drawings: The tie-breaking drawings on Saturday to seed the 4AA were huge. Garner will have the homefield advantage as long as it wins.

Undefeated Leesville Road got the toughest draw. If the Pride keeps winning, it might have to play at Middle Creek and at Garner.

The Mideast 4AA is all Wake County except for Wilmington Laney (5-5), which plays at Middle Creek.

Laney is 5-5 overall and 1-4 in the Mideastern 4A, its losses were by 1 (Jacksonville), 6 (Wilmington Hoggard), 3 (Greenville Rose), 31 (New Hanover) and 12 points (New Bern).

Laney upended Wakefield 30-27 in the first round last year.

TSTEVENS: 919-829-8910

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