High School Sports

Jalen Greene leads Southern Durham football by Northwood

Jalen Greene (7) of Southern stiff arms Michael Hayes, right, of Northwood to score a touchdown for the Spartans. The Northwood Chargers played the Southern Spartans in a football game that took place in Pittsboro, N.C. on Friday, October 21, 2016. Southern won 46-28.
Jalen Greene (7) of Southern stiff arms Michael Hayes, right, of Northwood to score a touchdown for the Spartans. The Northwood Chargers played the Southern Spartans in a football game that took place in Pittsboro, N.C. on Friday, October 21, 2016. Southern won 46-28. newsobserver.com

If there is a football team hovering around a .500 record yet showing signs of breaking out in the playoffs, two of them might have met Friday night in a Big Eight game at Northwood’s field.

Southern Durham (5-4, 3-1 Big 8 3A) and Northwood (4-5, 2-2) both showed explosive offenses on a chilly night, but Southern Durham was a bit hotter as Spartans won 46-28 in a game that was closer than the final score.

“Everything is clicking now,” Southern Durham quarterback Jalen Greene said. “Everyone knows this is the time for seeding, and we’re playing for the playoffs. We know we have to bring our “A” game if we want to get where we want to go.”

Greene is a 6-foot-3, 180-pound senior being recruited by Harvard and Yale with recent interest from Southern Mississippi. He accounted for 405 total yards and five touchdowns. He hit 20 of 29 passes for 319 yards and three TDs with one interception. He ran 11 times for 86 yards and two scores.

Northwood’s offensive explosions came from junior running back Tyrell Baldwin, a 6-foot, 205-pounder that was both a workhorse and breakaway player. He finished with 37 carries for 259 yards and three touchdowns.

TURNING POINT

Northwood closed to within 39-28 with 8:31 to play on a Baldwin’s 1-yard run, but Southern Durham put the game away with a 13-play, 91-yard scoring drive. Greene scored on a 23-yard run with 1:15 remaining.

THREE TO KNOW

Jalen Greene, Southern Durham: His touchdown tosses were 11 yards to Marcus McDonald, 27 to Ryan McLamb and 13 to McDonald. His TD runs were 13 and 23.

Ryan McLamb, Southern Durham: The 6-2, 180-pound senior caught six passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns. In addition to a 27-yarder from Greenee, he caught a 45-yard TD pass on an option toss from running back Taron Beauford.

Tyrell Baldwin, Northwood: He took a draw play 76 yards for a touchdown on the Chargers’ sixth play for a 7-0 lead. His other two scoring runs were from 5 yards and 1. He also broke off a 72-yard gallop to set up a TD.

THEY SAID IT

“We all had to some soul-searching at the beginning of the year. It started off rough for us, but it’s only looking up from here.” – Greene.

BY THE NUMBERS

4.2: Jalen’s Greene’s GPA that has two elite Ivy League schools recruiting him.

539: Southern Durham’s total yards with 175 rushing and 364 passing.

468: Northwood’s total yards with 259 rushing and 209 passing.

OUT OF BOUNDS

Northwood freshman Kayla Amy and her horse Spencer have added to the pregame pageantry at home games this year. She rides Spencer, a mustang, onto the field with an American flag as the band prepares to play the National Anthem. Amy and Spencer compete in hunter/jumper shows.

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