Princeton continued its unlikely postseason run in the state 1A football playoffs as they defeated North Edgecombe 43-12.
LEGGETT—Princeton continued its unlikely postseason run in the state 1A football playoffs as they defeated North Edgecombe 43-12.
The Bulldogs (4-8), who upset number one seed North Duplin a week ago, withstood a powerful Warriors rushing attack and countered with more of a balanced approach themselves to advance to the third round of the NCHSAA 1A playoffs.
Johnny Frasier led the way for the Bulldogs as the sophomore running back cruised to a 171-yard, two-touchdown performance. Quarterback Michael Wooten threw for 171 yards and added two scores on the ground while Dillon Pace added 84 more yards on the ground and a pair of scores as well.
“We’re peaking at the right time,” said first-year Princeton coach Derrick Minor. “We didn’t have to rely on our passing game as much tonight because our run game was on fire.”
North Edgecombe’s ground game is the one that came out on fire, however.
The Warriors marched down the field on their first drive, chewing up 66 yards all on the ground.
But the Princeton defense got the stop it needed when the Bulldogs forced North Edgecombe to surrender the ball on downs stopping them on a 4th-and-11 on the Princeton 13 yard line.
“Our defense bends but doesn’t break,” Minor said. “Something triggers these guys and then they hold tight right when you need them the most.”
The offense fed off the momentum generated by its defense and provided a spark of its own on its ensuing possession.
Michael Wooten found Jamaal Allen wide open for a 96-yard pass play to set the Bulldogs up on the Warriors’ two-yard line. Wooten then called his own number on the next play to push the Bulldogs out in front.
The Warriors would never challenge the rest of the game.
Frasier found a lot of running room behind the right side of his offensive line while Wooten and Dillon Pace helped to keep the Warriors guessing.
A Frasier 10-yard burst and a Wooten eight-yard rushing score pushed the Bulldogs out to a 22-0 lead the halftime.
The Warriors opened the second half with its first scoring drive of the night when freshman fullback Antoine Pittman broke a few tackles, and sprinted up the middle from 19 yards out to get North Edgecombe to within 22-6.
Princeton responded immediately however when Frazier turned in a scintillating 35-yard rushing touchdown during which he hurdled a North Edgecombe defender on his way to finding the end zone.
North Edgecombe (5-6) fumbled seven times on the night, losing four of them to complicate matters further.
Pittman ended the night with 89 yards rushing while Travonte Collins contributed 68 more yards for the Warriors.