FOUR OAKS — Two huge kicking game mistakes and a methodical Cape Fear offense proved to be too much for South Johnston Friday night.
Antonio Burden and Marquise Whitted rushed for two touchdowns each, leading the visiting Colts to a 33-7 win over the Trojans.
The Mid-South 4A Colts improved to 3-2 on the season, and the Two Rivers 3A South Johnston fell to 1-4 after its fourth loss to a 4A school this season.
“We left the defense out there too long,” South Johnston coach Shane Dular said. “They played really well in the (scoreless) first quarter, and we just kept stepping on our own toes and we’re not good enough to overcome mistakes right now.
“Cape Fear is physical, and we knew they were really good on defense and matched up well with us,” Dular said. “I thought we had a good plan and fought hard, but they just executed better than us. There were probably 10 more passes we should have gotten off. We may have played the toughest schedule of any 3A team in the state, but we want to be more battle-tested if we can make the playoffs.”
South Johnston quarterback Garrett Smith, who completed his first nine passing attempts, was 16-for-21 for 195 yards. He also ran for his team’s only score.
But the Trojans finished with a minus-59 yards rushing, mostly because of three errant snaps.
“We have good receivers and we’ve been practicing hard,” Smith said. “That’s helped us execute. But we just need to have better mental focus. When we got down, we didn’t execute as well. We have to keep our composure when things go badly.”
Chris Williams was Cape Fear’s top rusher with 117 yards on 30 carries.
“Defensively we were able to make tackles in the open space, and we were able to create more turnovers than they were,” Cape Fear coach Jake Thomas said. “You take your touchdowns any way you can get them.”
The Colts started slow but ended up dominating the second quarter with a 20-point explosion.
Burden scored the first of his back-to-back touchdowns with a four-yard run around left end, completing an 11-play, 57-yard march with 9:04 left in the half. Alex Martinez added the kick.
On the Colts’ next possession, Burden scored again, going in from 39 yards out on a right-to-left reverse to complete a five-play, 66-yard drive at 5:02. Martinez converted again.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Trojans failed to cover the ball near the sideline. The Colts recovered the ball at South Johnston’s 4-yard line. Two plays later, Whitted scored from two yards out. South blocked Martinez’ kick, but the halftime margin was set at 20-0.
Late in the third, Cape Fear’s Chipper Cashwell jumped on a loose ball in the end zone after a bad snap on a South Johnston punt attempt. Martinez missed the extra point, and the Colts led 26-0.
South finally got on the board 19 seconds later on a one-yard run by Smith, two plays after Clarence Crawford returned the kickoff 89 yards to the Colts’ 4. Yavanni Herrara added the conversion.
“I saw my blockers going down the field and kind of eased in behind them,” said Crawford, who had two receptions for 56 yards and carried six times for 17. “But we’ve just got to get stronger and be better every day in practice.”