Defense dominated the early proceedings as Southeast Raleigh and West Johnston clashed in a key Greater Neuse River 4A Conference football tilt Friday night but, in the end, it was the Wildcats who got the offense rolling in the second half for a 35-14 win.
After being stymied for much of the first half, Andre Wilson led the Wildcats on an impressive scoring drive in the third quarter that gave West Johnston the lead for good.
The senior quarterback was 5-of-6 on the drive for 36 yards before he capped it off with a seven-yard touchdown run that gave the hosts the 14-7 lead.
The West Johnston defense continued to keep the Bulldogs (3-3, 0-2) in check while Wilson added a score and Joey Lama added two second half rushing touchdowns to help the Wildcats remain undefeated (5-0, 2-0).
Southeast Raleigh cut the lead to 28-14 in the fourth quarter on a Tyler Williams touchdown from Maurice Nelson but got no closer as the Wildcats ran out the clock behind Lama and Wilson.
On fourth-and-10 at the Southeast Raleigh 25-yard line midway through the second quarter, Timare Robinson received the pitch on the end around and outraced the Bulldogs defense to open the scoring.
The lead didn’t last long, however, as Nick Thomas took the resulting kickoff back for a touchdown to tie the game which stayed deadlocked until Wilson’s score in the third quarter.
Noah Liles’ interception and subsequent 40-yard return inside the Bulldogs five-yard line just three plays after his team took a one score lead set up Lama’s touchdown one play later for a 21-7 advantage.
THREE TO KNOW
Andre Wilson, West Johnston: The Wildcats’ quarterback had a slow start to the game but took advantage of the short passing game in the third quarter to move the ball down the field. Wilson ended with 81 yards through the air and 58 more on the ground, including two rushing touchdowns.
Joey Lama, West Johnston: Lama’s two second half touchdown runs spread the game wide open for the Wildcats. Lama also picked up a key first down midway through the fourth quarter on a fourth-and-two to help milk the clock.
Tyler Williams, Southeast Raleigh: Williams caught four passes for 84 yards, including a 42-yard touchdown reception. Williams also came up with an interception.
BY THE NUMBERS
4: Consecutive wins for the Wildcats over Southeast Raleigh.
5: Southeast Raleigh turnovers.
7: Scoreless possessions to open the game.
11: Combined punts for both teams.
80: Yards Southeast Raleigh’s Nick Thomas returned a kickoff for a score in the second quarter.
101: Yards passing for the Bulldogs’ Maurice Nelson.