Pinnix helps alter the Northwood football record book

tstevens@newsobserver.comSeptember 3, 2013 

Quarterback Ti Pinnix helped Pittsboro Northwood set or tie 11 school records during Friday night’s 56-31 nonconference win against Southern Lee.

Pinnix completed 29 of 49 passes for 501 yards, all three individual and school team records. He had touchdown passes of 75, 13, 35, 35, 28 and 99 yards, the latter throw to Kadarus Rhone for another record.

Receiver Jalen Smith caught 10 passes for 221 yards and three touchdowns, all school records.

Bill Renner, the former East Chapel Hill coach, is now an assistant at Northwood and has installed a passing attack.

“Ti has elevated his game in our new offensive system,” said Northwood coach Bill Hall. “He is a natural in the spread shotgun system coach Renner has installed this season.

“Ti is getting better with every snap in practice. He is reading the defense so much better than just two weeks ago. If we can keep protecting him we can have some big numbers on offense this season.”

In addition to the passing records, Northwood’s B.J. Harrington tied the school record with two interceptions.

HILLSIDE RESTS: Durham Hillside opened its season with two emotional victories and now has a week off.

The Hornets, No. 1 in The N&O rankings, went to New Bern and ended the Bears’ 15-game winning streak with a 27-24 overtime victory. Last week, Hillside took on Durham County rival Southern Durham at Durham County Stadium and claimed a 29-24 win.

The Hornets will play on Sept. 13 at Greensboro Dudley. They make their home debut on Sept. 20 against Charlotte Country Day.

SOUTHEAST TRAVELS: Southeast Raleigh has been on the road, too. The Bulldogs lost at Fayetteville Britt, 34-9, in their opener and traveled to Myrtle Beach, S.C., last Friday where they lost to Irmo (S.C.) Dutch Fork 41-6

The Bulldogs are at home on Friday against Enloe.

EXECUTION: Middle Creek football coach Mike Castellano said his club’s defensive plan was to take away Fayetteville E.E. Smith’s bread-and-butter running plays. The Mustangs did that in a 56-14 win.

Middle Creek allowed only 3 yards on 20 rushes.

Castellano praised the play of linebackers Tom Hartshorn, safety Jacob Pearl and linemen Terry Patterson and Josh Guest. A big factor was the kicking and punting of Michael Rubino that kept Smith backed up.

“It was a case of our offense, defense and special teams all coming together and playing as a unit,” Castellano said.

Offensively, wide receiver Deante McDonald has blocked exceptionally well downfield, Castellano said.

NO BAND: Wake County Schools policy on bands performing at halftime got a little attention last week because Fayetteville E.E. Smith was not allowed to perform during the game at Middle Creek.

E.E. Smith traditionally has a vibrant, entertaining halftime show and was willing to carry the show on the road. But Wake County allows only one band to perform at the half. The band offered to play from the stands, but each member would have been charged an admission fee.

Veteran Fayetteville Observer high school sports editor Earl Vaughan wrote, “Come on guys. How much is it going to hurt to let the band at least sit in the bleachers? Not to mention the fact you are robbing your fans and the Wake County area of one of the great halftime performances you're ever going to see.

“The Smith band is legendary in these parts, and you are really missing out on not letting them perform. This is one case where the rules need to be bent in the name of what's best for your fans, and for the kids at Smith who have worked hard all summer to perfect that routine they do.

“This is a real shame.”

HEISMAN WATCH: Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M’s 2012 Heisman Trophy winner, follows Leesville Road quarterback Braxton Berrios on Twitter. Berrios, HNYNT_BERRIOS on Twitter, has almost 8,000 followers, many of whom offer him recruiting advice.

Last Friday he tweeted, “My Official Visit to Oregon is about to start with this plane ride! You know I had to pull em out to fit in #Ducks.” He attached a photo of what he pulled out, shoes that were bright yellow and blue.

BUNN SPECIAL: Special teams played a big role in Bunn’s 51-20 win against North Johnston last week.

Bunn led only 21-14 at halftime, but sophomore back Tevin Perry returned the second half kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown to start a 30-point scoring run for Bunn. Tommie Evans added a 55-yard punt return for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter.

Bunn senior kicker Freeman Jones, a North Carolina recruit, hit a 45-yard field goal in the third quarter and all nine of his kickoffs went for touchbacks on the night. He was six of seven on extra points.

“He’s a weapon,” said Bunn coach David Howle of Jones. “He’s the best one I’ve had. He missed a 54-yard field goal last week that was long enough but just wide, so leg isn’t going to be a problem for him.”

North Johnston’s average starting spot on offense was its own 23.

WARRIORS’ YOUTH: St. David’s coach Wes Wilder wasn’t exaggerating when he said he had the youngest team ever.

Twelve of the 26 varsity players are freshmen and eight are sophomores. Reef Ivey and Matt Stahl are the only seniors.

“The future looks very bright,” Wilder said.

St. David’s lost to Kinston Parrott 30-22 on Friday night.

STILL PROUD: South Johnston coach Shane Dular was proud of his team’s effort in a 24-0 loss to West Johnston.

“The played extremely hard all night,” Dular said. “I was proud of their effort and heart. (West coach Jimmy) Williams and his staff did a great job of getting their kids prepared and his players performed well.

“Our defense played valiantly. I told the kids this loss is on me completely.”

Stevens: 919-829-8910

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