The Pirates had no answer for Northern Guilford running back C.J. Freeman Friday night as the big runner racked up 256 yards on 18 carries and ripped off two long scoring runs to lead the Nighthawks to a 40-7 win over Corinth Holders.
Freeman scored on runs of 66, 91 and 11 yards and ended Corinth Holders’ first season under head coach Bubba Williams at 9-3.
The Nighthawks, 8-4, took the wind out of Corinth Holders’ sails early, blocking a punt on the opening drive that went out the side of the end zone for a safety.
Following the free kick, Northern Guilford drove the ball back into the red zone, but settled for a 29-yard Ethan Reeder field goal to extend the lead to a very un-football like 5-0.
Northern quarterback Miles Timmons scored the game’s first touchdown on a 2-yard run to boost the lead to 12-0.
The Nighthawk defense was doing its part from the line of scrimmage as well, bottling up the Pirates’ star running back Howard Watson. Watson finished the night with 93 yards on the ground, but it took him 27 carries to reach that mark.
But Watson and the Pirates special teams play did manage to breathe some life into the Pirate faithful. After Watson scored on a 2-yard run to open the second-half scoring and cut the lead to 19-7, the Corinth Holders offense got the ball right back after the kicking team recovered a sky-kick on the Northern Guilford 44. Five plays later, the third quarter ended with the Pirates on the 1 yard line.
Two penalties and an errant snap from center pushed the ball back to the Northern Guilford 45 and Corinth Holders’ best chance to rally had fizzled.
Passing wasn’t much of factor in the game for either team. Corinth Holders’ Kaelin Jones was 6 of 13 for 54 yards. Timmons was just 4 of 8 for eight yards.
Williams said the early scores and two subsequent turnovers by the Pirates offense were too much to overcome. “You can’t give away that many points against a good team like that and expect to win,” Williams said.
At the end of his first campaign, Williams said he was pleased with the season overall despite the early exit from the playoffs. “We had a good group of seniors, a really good group of seniors and they led this team all season,” he said.
The loss ends the high school playing career of 18 Corinth Holders seniors including Watson, O’Neal, Raquan Jones, Jordan Neal, Mark Utley, Gary Allen, Steven Adams, Shamarko Wortham, Noah Vasquez, Cade Zais, Ian Cregan, Mitchell Spaulding, Quentin Ross, Austin Tate, Pierce Rickman, Austin Himmel, Matt Cooper and Diego Segundo.