If Thursday night’s non-conference battle between North Johnston and Bunn will be the last time the teams meet each other on the gridiron in the regular season, then the Wildcats left quite a parting shot memory,
Behind a bevy of running backs, the Wildcats (1-1) rushed their way to an overwhelming 47-0 victory in the clash of 2A rivals.
The Wildcats scored on seven of their nine possessions, including their first four while building up 459 rushing yards en route to the rout.
“We’ve got some quick backs and we have some big linemen,” said Wildcats coach David Howle. “They all did a great job. Our backs were able to do it because of our linemen.”
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The Wildcats had two runners eclipse 100 yards on the ground: Devante Caldwell and Thomas Jones, who both recording a pair of touchdowns while exceeding the triple-digit mark.
Caldwell rushed for 109 yards on six carries and scored on runs of three and 20 yards, respectively, while Jones dashed for 132 yards on seven attempts, with scoring runs of 43 and15 yards.
They were complimented by the efforts of Ashton Avery, who ran to pay dirt on jaunts of 7 and 77 yards en route to a total of 98 yards on seven carries. Tevin Perry added 92 yards on dour runs, including a scoring romp of 31 yards.
The quartet left the Panthers grasping for empty air most of the night.
North (0-2), which managed 87 yards on the ground and 98 in total offense, got off to strong starts in their opening drives of both halves, only to have mistakes stop the threats.
The Panthers took the opening kickoff and behind, a balanced attack, moved from their 27-yard-line to the Wildcats’ 29.
But a delay of game call followed by a holding infraction stalled the drive, forcing a punt, which gave Bunn its first possession at the Wildcats 20.
From there, it took Bunn two plays to score - a zigzagging, 37-yard gallop by Perry, followed by a sweep by Jones for 43 yards and the first score. Those two plays set the tone for the night, with Bunn recording six plays of greater than 30 yards on the evening.
North battled back gamely, but after the Panthers’ opening drive, Bunn’s defense allowed very few sustained marches. The Panthers, who were led by Jahvonte Dublin’s 82 rushing yards on 10 carries, could not manage enough offense to compliment his effort.
“We’re not as quick as we need to be,” said Panthers coach Ashley Ennis. “And that is something we need to work on.
“We went right down the field on the opening drive, made a couple of mistakes, and then we fell apart. … But these guys are young, learning anew offense and system. We will get better.”