Four of the five area teams entered the second week of the high school football season still in search of a first taste of victory, having been handily defeated on Friday.
The lone exception to the loss factor was the Bunn Wildcats, but they too entered the week hunting for win No. 1 after their season opener at Fike was postponed until Monday due to weather.
Another group of Wildcats, from Millbrook, was impressive Friday night, scoring on its first five possessions en route to a 38-14 victory over host East Wake in a nonleague game.
Larry Rountree III rushed for 143 yards and two touchdowns for the Wildcats, No. 12 in the News & Observer’s preseason rankings. Rountree scored on touchdown runs of 44 and 3 yards, and Kenneth McCray tossed a pair of touchdown passes to Tyler Snead to help stake Millbrook to a 38-7 halftime lead.
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Mikekale Engles had a 5-yard touchdown run and Daniel Anderson caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from Tyshawn Milam for the Warriors’ touchdowns.
After Millbrook’s Andre Freeman recovered a fumble and returned it 9 yards for a touchdown to give the Wildcats a 7-0 lead less than a minute into play, East Wake came back with an impressive 18-play, 78-yard drive that chewed up over seven minutes – capped by Engles’ touchdown to tie the score at 7. However, Millbrook answered with a quick three-play drive ending with McCray’s 48-yard touchdown pass to Snead with 3 minutes, 33 seconds left in the first quarter and the Wildcats were not seriously threatened the rest of the way.
An excited crowd for the first game of the season in Knightdale was silenced early by a bruising opening drive by Sanderson, running more than eight minutes off the clock and culminating in a one-yard touchdown plunge by fullback Alim McNeill.
But it was running backs Jordan Logan and Sam Vines that led the Spartans’ physical ground attack and led Sanderson past the host Knights, 35-0.
Logan recorded all 15 of his carries – for 79 yards and a touchdown – in the first half for the Spartans before Vines and a number of other rushers shared duties after the break. Quarterback Justin Dunn added 97 yards on 11-of-18 passing.
In Rolesville, the Rams played host to a rematch against Terry Sanford, which won last year’s meeting 55-0 in Fayetteville.
The Bulldogs won again Friday, but with less ease in a 48-21 decision in which they led just 21-13 at the half.
The Corinth Holders Pirates, No. 22 in the N&O preaseason rankings, found themselves the victims of a 17-0 shutout on their road trip to Northern Nash.
Northern got a rushing touchdown in the second quarter and led by 10 at the half before adding more cushion with a scoring pass early in the final period.
FRIDAY NIGHT HEROES
Tyshawn Milam, East Wake: The senior enjoyed some solid moments against a relentless Millbrook defense, going 17-for-37 passing for 158 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Milam also ran 17 times for 88 yards.
D.J. Conner, Knightdale: The Knights’ first-year starting quarterback struggled to find space in any regard against a stingy defense, completing only four of 13 pass attempts for 32 yards and running six times for 14 yards. He still led the team in both regards.
Carnaji Andrews, Rolesville: The Rams senior didn’t have his biggest night, finishing 7-for-17 passing for 119 yards. He did, however, punch in a 7-yard run, something first-year coach Wilson Helms said to expect to see more of this season.
E.J. Hicks, Rolesville: 95 of Andrews’ passing yards were made possible on just three catches by Hicks.
BY THE NUMBERS
6: Years since Knightdale was last shut out at home, a 22-0 loss to Garner in October, 2010.
7: The number of first downs picked up by East Wake on its impressive 18-play scoring drive early in the first quarter. The drive included four third-down conversions and a fourth-down conversion.
65: Yards of total offense by Knightdale, which was held to 32 total plays by Sanderson’s clock-chewing style.
97: The number of yards Rolesville’s E.J. Hicks covered for a kickoff return in the loss to Terry Sanford.
288: Total offensive yards for East Wake, 130 on the ground and 158 via the pass.
Ben Pope, Mike Mangan and Aaron Moody contributed.
Friday, Aug. 19 Scores
▪ Sanderson 35, Knightdale 0 (at KHS)
▪ Millbrook 38, East Wake 14 (at EWHS)
▪ Terry Sanford 48, Rolesville 21 (at RHS)
▪ Northern Nash 17, Corinth Holders 0 (at NNHS)
Friday, Aug. 26 Games
Knightdale vs. Millbrook, 7: The Knights will have their hands full as another Cap-8 test, Millbrook, comes to town. Larry Rountree had 143 yards and two TDs on 12 carries as the Wildcats toppled East Wake.
East Wake at Wilson Fike, 7:30: The Warriors’ first road game comes against the Golden Demons of the Big East 3A Conference, who faced the task of playing two games this week after their season opener with Bunn was postponed due to weather.
Bunn vs. Northwest Halifax, 7:30: The Wildcats’ second scheduled game of the week is against the Vikings of the Tar-Roanoke Athletic 1A Conference. Northwest Halifax fell to North Edgecombe, 70-24, in their season opener.
Rolesville at Heritage, 7: The Rams face a group of CAP-8 Huskies that had their way in a 51-6 triumph over Green Hope last week.
Corinth Holders at Clayton, 7: The Pirate ship doesn’t have to sail far for this geographic rivalry game. With Clayton losing a shootout with Two Rivers 3A Cleveland in their opener, both the Comets and the Pirates are looking for a first win.