It’s always a ground-and-pound kind of night when rivals Fuquay-Varina and Clayton get together. It was again Friday with the Bengals grinding their way to a 31-14 victory over the previously unbeaten Comets.
Fuquay-Varina (3-1) rode the tough runs of junior fullback Damarus Williams behind an offensive line that created running lane after running lane to its third straight win. Williams ran for a season-high 191 yards on 32 carries. His two second-quarter touchdown runs pushed the Bengals comfortably ahead for good.
“We run the same stuff we’ve run for 10 years and these offensive linemen have really bought into what we do,” Fuquay-Varina coach Jeb Hall said. “We’re happy with 31/2 yards a carry and controlling the clock. So if we can just do that, we’ll be all right.
“We haven’t turned the ball over in two games and that’s a big thing for us.”
The Bengals averaged more than six yards a carry Friday.
Damarus Williams’ first touchdown – a 39-yard run through the left side of the line – capped a 94-yard, 12-play drive early in the second quarter.
Bengals’ defensive lineman Tyler Hinton recovered a Clayton fumble two plays later, setting up a short, but time-consuming nine-play scoring drive ending with a 1-yard touchdown run.
Clayton (4-1), which also lost a fumble inside of the Bengals’ 10 midway through the first quarter, struck quickly to get within 14-7 when Eric Hoy pulled in a 50-yard pass from Sam May with 3 minutes, 46 seconds to play in the half.
But Fuquay-Varina put on a clinic in clock management for the rest of the half and the entire third quarter.
The Bengals marched downfield after Hoy’s touchdown, scoring with 4.5 seconds left on senior quarterback Tyler Williams’ 1-yard, bootleg keeper run.
Fuquay-Varina got the ball to start the second half and churned half of the third quarter away before a punt. The Bengal defense followed by forcinga three-and-out, setting up a 9-play, 4-plus minute drive that culminated with William Mann’s 40-yard field goal for a 24-7 lead.
“We beat a good football team tonight, playing our game,” Hall said, “And that’s right where we want to be entering conference play against a tough Holly Springs team next week.”
Tyler Williams added a 46-yard touchdown run late in the fourth, which Clayton answered with a 77-yard scoring run by Rodney Rowe. Rowe led the Comets, who played a non-Johnston County opponent for the first time this season, with 83 yards on eight carries.
Tyler Williams had 87 yards rushing on eight carries for the Bengals.