Sports

Crusaders jump out on Leesville early, defeat the Pride, 33-22

Nick Frey, left, of Cardinal Gibbons gains yards against a tackle from Dylan Reeves (3) of Leesville Road. The Cardinal Gibbons Crusaders visited the Leesville Road Pride in a high school football game on September 21, 2018. Cardinal Gibbons won 33-22.
Nick Frey, left, of Cardinal Gibbons gains yards against a tackle from Dylan Reeves (3) of Leesville Road. The Cardinal Gibbons Crusaders visited the Leesville Road Pride in a high school football game on September 21, 2018. Cardinal Gibbons won 33-22. newsobserver.com

At the conclusion of their road win over Leesville Road, a Cardinal Gibbons player shouted “the Cap 7 ain’t ready.” For now, he might be right as the Crusaders are off to a good start in league play.

Cardinal Gibbons is now 1-0 in conference play, defeating the Pride, 33-22, in a battle of one loss teams.

“It’s huge,” Gibbons head coach Steven Wright said. “At least at the front end of this you give yourself a chance to control your own destiny a little bit, and we talked about that all week, not only getting off to a fast start in the game, but trying to get off to a fast start in the conference.”

The Crusaders (4-1, 1-0) got a big night from quarterback Nick Frey, who accounted for four touchdowns in the win, running for one, and throwing for three more, all to sophomore wide receiver Jacob Gibb.

“They’ve developed a lot of trust, and that’s come over a lot of hours,” Wright said about his quarterback/receiver duo. “They spent a lot of time in the spring and summer together, along with some of our other receivers, and obviously found a bit of a rhythm.”

The first half was all Gibbons as the Crusaders jumped out to a 21-0 lead over the host Pride. The Cardinal Gibbons defense got the visitors on the board first as defensive tackle Myle Harp stripped the ball out of the hands of Leesville Road quarterback Vinny Amendola on the Prides second drive of the opening quarter. Harp raced 15-yards for the score, putting Cardinal Gibbons ahead 6-0 after the extra point was blocked.

Frey was responsible for the next three Crusaders’ touchdowns. After a targeting call against Leesville Road moved the ball to the Pride eight, Frey called his own number two plays later for a short touchdown run. Ethan Hebb added the two-point conversion, and Gibbons led 14-0 with 2:55 remaining in the first.

Leesville was able to pick up some steam on their next drive, but had the air sucked out of the stands when B.J. Adamchick lost a fumble after a big gain and the Crusaders recovered near midfield.

Frey and his favorite target, Gill, would make the home team pay, connecting for the first of their two first-half scores, this time a 25-yard touchdown with 24.1 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Frey would lead the team 90-yards down the field with less than two minutes remaining in the first half, hitting Gill again, this time for a 36-yard score with 9.4 ticks showing on the clock.

That scoring drive came after what looked like a Leesville Road touchdown came off the board. Vinny Amendola hit Noah Burnette for a 35-yard score, but it was taken off the board after the Pride were called for holding. Amendola was sacked on the next play, and the Pride were forced to punt, pinning the Crusaders at the 10. That proved to be a non issues as Frey picked his way through the Leesville defense for the final scoring drive of the opening half.

Amendola was responsible for the Prides only score of the first half, scoring on a 1-yard run with 10:24 remaining in the second quarter, making it a 21-7 Cardinal Gibbons lead.

Leesville Road scored the only touchdown of the third quarter, a 1-yard run by David Sohn to make it a 13-point Gibbons lead.

But Frey was back at it again to start the fourth, connecting with, no surprise, Gill for a 25-yard score, giving the visitors a 33-14 lead early in the fourth.

“Over the summer and going through spring practice we would get extra reps in and continue to work our chemistry,” Frey said about his connection with Gill. “We’ve just been building off that since the season has been going and it’s been working for us.”

The Pride (4-2, 0-1) forced a fumble in the fourth that was recovered by David Arukwe. On the very next play Amendola found DJ Grey for a 37-yard pass. The duo also connected for the two-point conversion.

Leesville’s defense got the ball back to the offense on several occasions the rest of the way, but the Crusaders defense was stout, closing the door on several drives from the Pride.

Leesville played at home last Wednesday, while Gibbons got an unexpected bye week because of Hurricane Florence. The Crusaders were scheduled to play at Wallace Rose-Hill. If there was any rust from the extra time off, it didn’t show.

“It gave us time to prepare for this team even more,” Frey said. “We knew they were going to come out strong and we wanted to come out and make a point and I think that we did a good job.”

Enloe 42, Sanderson 35

Enloe improved to 5-0 with a comeback win over Sanderson.

Eagles’ senior running back Hamilton Moore was the workhorse for Enloe, giving the Eagles a late lead on a 34-yard run with 10:16 to play. Moore, who will play football at Yale next season, scored the clinching touchdown with less than two minutes remaining in the game.

Trey Baker completed a 24-yard touchdown pass to Dylan Bollinger with 27 seconds remaining for Sanderson, and the Spartans recovered the onside kick, giving themselves a chance to tie the game. But their hail mary pass attempt fell short and the Eagles secured the win.

Moore finished with 360 rushing yards and six touchdowns for Enloe.

The Spartans (2-3) led 28-21 at the half, but Moore picked all 64 yards on six plays during the Eagles first scoring drive of the second half to tie the game at 28. Moore gave the home team the lead for good on a 34-yard score in the fourth.

Northern 26, Southern 6

Until last September, Northern hadn’t defeated Southern since 2002 — the days when NFL talents such as A.J. Davis and current Alabama wide receivers coach Josh Gattis wore blue and yellow.

But the Knights (5-0) made it two in a row Friday, pummeling their crosstown rival 26-6, and staying undefeated on the season.

“We want to win games in Durham,” Northern head coach John Hammett said. “If we can get those games in Durham, we can beat anyone.”

With Southern (2-4) running back Taron Beauford playing through an MCL sprain, the hosts struggled to create offense.

Northern was led by wide receiver Alon Fallen, who hauled in two scores from quarterback Brycen Jackson, and Anthony Freeman, who had two rushing touchdowns.

Knightdale 25, Fuquay-Varina 21

Dax Hardy connected with Evan McCray on a 55-yard touchdown with two minutes to go, as Knightdale handed Fuquay-Varina its first loss of the 2018 season, by a score of 25-21.

The Knights (3-1) led 17-7 midway through the third quarter, before the Bengals (4-1) responded with back-to-back touchdowns to take a four-point lead. The latter came on a 10-yard rush by Sakori Stewart with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter.

But Hardy, a sophomore, came through in the clutch, finding McCray for his third touchdown pass of the season.

Both teams will be off next week.

Middle Creek 22, Wakefield 14

Middle Creek surged in the fourth quarter Friday night, scoring 13 unanswered points when it mattered most to put away Wakefield 22-14 on their home field.

Heading into the final quarter, Wakefield maintained a 14-9 lead.

However, the Mustangs found the endzone on a 14-yard rushing touchdown with about nine minutes, taking a 15-14 lead.

With less than a minute to go, and Wakefield driving downfield for the win, the Mustangs forced and returned a Wakefield fumble for a touchdown, tacking on a PAT to secure the eight-point victory.

The loss dropped the Wolverines to 2-4 on the season. Middle Creek moved to 3-2 with the victory — their second in a row.

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