Behind a new offensive coordinator, a veteran offensive line and a talented backfield, Apex made quite the first impression in its season opener Friday.
Isaiah Totten rushed for 175 yards and two scores and Grayson Boyd threw for 217 yards and had three total touchdowns as the Cougars overpowered host Harnett Central 46-10.
Apex put points on the scoreboard on seven out of 11 possessions, including four straight. On just the third play from scrimmage for the Cougars, Justin Cook hauled in a sideline pass from Boyd and turned it upfield for a 77-yard touchdown and the early lead.
Ian Boyd was on the receiving end of a 49-yard scoring throw and Totten pounded in touchdown runs of five and 21 yards. Joey Copeland (80 rushing yards) and Grayson Boyd also scored on two-yard runs and Nathan Davis added a 33-yard field goal as time expired in the first half.
Apex racked up 482 yards of total offense while averaging 7.4 yards per play in a balanced mix of 25 rushing attempts to 20 pass plays. Will Orbin, former head coach of Holly Springs, took over the reins as offensive coordinator at Apex this season.
“(Orbin) did his job. I’m proud of the offense for what they did,” Apex head coach Joe Kilby said. “I think we have the potential to be a good football team.”
Totten had seven runs of 10 yards or more and had 124 yards by halftime.
“He ran the ball hard and we expect that out of him. He did that last year and that’s what we expect him to do. He’s going to be a guy that we run down the road,” Kilby said.
Kahlil Dixon was equally impressive for Harnett Central, piling up 151 rushing yards on just 14 carries and also making the game’s lone interception on defense. His 79-yard touchdown run late in the first half cut Apex’s lead to 21-10 but the Cougar defense clamped down from there as Apex outscored the Trojans 25-0 the rest of the way.
“A couple plays here and there in the first half and it would’ve been a lot closer,” Trojan coach Dave Thomas said. “We really should’ve only been down 14-10 at halftime.”
Jay McNeil threw for 146 yards for the Trojans, 80 of which was accounted for by Kasual Cantey’s eight catches. DaShaun Arnold grabbed seven passes for 45 yards.
“We’ve got 10 more games so we’ve got to bounce back,” Thomas said. “We’ve just got to fix the little things. I think we’ll be alright. After your first game, everybody kind of gets it a little bit and we’ll improve next week.”