The race to the top of the Southwestern Wake Athletic Conference is wide open this year, and Apex made a statement to why they can be number one in their first challenge of the season. All phases of the game came together for first year coach Robert Graham and the Cougars, who defeated Broughton 30-20 at home Friday night.
It was a night to remember if your last name was “Boyd,” as seniors Grayson Boyd (14 for 24 for 215 yards and three touchdowns) and Ian Boyd (four catches for 111 yards and three touchdowns) lit up the crowd with big plays all night.
The game didn’t begin the way the Cougars expected, falling into a 14-9 hole heading into halftime. However, they came out of the break firing, scoring 21 unanswered points.
Grayson Boyd hit Ian Boyd for a 53-yard touchdown to open the game, but Broughton was ready to respond. Devone Jackson took a jet sweep 14-yards for a score in the first quarter, and Sherrod McKoy hauled in a four-yard reception from Owen Wilkinson with just under four minutes remaining in the first half, Broughton’s first completed pass of the night.
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Apex’s punter, Nate Davis, was able to pin the Capitals inside their own one-yard line with a minute to go in the half, a play that would create two points for the Cougars after a bad Broughton snap sailed over the head of Wilkinson.
The third quarter was when the offensive onslaught began for the Cougars.
“We came out here a little sloppy, weren’t really executing things the way we should,” Grayson Boyd said of the first half. “Offensive line really stepped it up. … We came together as a team in the second half and really turned things around.”
Grayson Boyd called his own number and scored on a rushing touchdown, while also hitting Ian Boyd for scores of 27 and 11 yards. Graham showed his creativity, as Jordan Mann converted a 2-point conversion on a fake field goal pass from Justin Cook to extend the Apex lead to 30-14 midway through the fourth quarter.
Wilkinson threw another touchdown to McKoy with 3:58 to go in the game, but it was too little, too late for the Capitals, who completed only three passes all night.
Finding themselves behind at the half, Apex’s second half domination began when senior quarterback Grayson Boyd took a quarterback keeper 38 yards to give the Cougars a lead they would neglect to relinquish.
They said it
“The Boyd-to-Boyd express!” Grayson Boyd said. “It’s good to know we’ve started for three years together and have pretty good chemistry together, I always know where he’s at, and he always knows where I’m at.”
Three who mattered
Devone Jackson, Broughton: Jackson was the most efficient player the Capitals had, averaging 11.3 yards per carry on 102 yards rushing while also scoring Broughton’s first touchdown of the night. He recorded an electrifying 70-yard interception return preceding halftime that was called back due to a penalty.
Ian Boyd, Apex: Despite playing on both sides of the ball all night, Boyd still had the afterburners ready to go, recording crucial touchdowns catches of 53, 27 and 11 yards apiece en route to a 111-yard season debut.
Isaiah Totten, Apex: Part of the reason the Cougars were so successful on offense was their ability to keep the Capital’s defense honest due to Totten’s home run ability as a rusher. Totten finished the night with 18 rushes for 143 yards, as well as another 54 yards receiving.
By the numbers
4: Passing yards recorded by Broughton in the first half.
4/6: Of Broughton’s first six drives to open the game, four of them started within 10 yards of midfield.
8.33: Apex’s offensive yards per play before they began milking the clock with three minutes to go. They were extremely balanced, running and passing the ball 24 times each in the game’s first 45 minutes.