The scoring summary suggests Cleveland Rams quarterback Skylar Locklear and his merry band of receivers were the stars of Friday night’s 53-9 win over crosstown rival Clayton on the Comets’ field.
Locklear was 12-of-14 passing for 206 yards and five touchdowns. Senior Isaiah Sawyer caught four balls for 102 yards and three touchdowns, senior Kouren Artis four for 76 and one TD and Jaxquez Durham four for 15 and one score.
But any defensive coordinator game-planning the Rams knows why Locklear, a 6-foot, 165-pound sophomore with a strong and accurate arm, had such an easy time playing pitch and catch.
Omarion Hampton. He’s the Rams’ Super Soph running back who demands attention to at least slow him down.
“He’s amazing,” Locklear said of the 6-0, 210-pound running back. “If teams are going to try and stop him, that leaves the defense in man coverage. My wide receivers were wide open. It was pretty easy to hit them.”
But just because the Rams forced the Comets to pick their poison, that doesn’t mean Hampton was held in check. The 6-0, 210-pounder with thunder thighs finished with 19 carries for 228 yards with touchdown runs of 58 and 72.
Initially, Clayton’s game plan recorded some early stops of Hampton. His first carry was for 1 yard and his second for a yard lost, which led to the Rams punting away their first possession.
But on Cleveland’s second possession, Locklear hit a 14-yard pass to Durham. Hampton followed with runs of 14 and 15. Locklear later hit a third-and-15 pass to Sawyer for the game’s first touchdown.
After the Rams recovered an onside kick, Locklear found Arits with and a 37-yard TD pass.
On the Rams’ next possession, Hampton scooted through a sliver of a hole off right tackle and raced 58 yards for the score and a 20-3 lead.
“We were ready for them to stack the box and try to stop Omarion,” Locklear said. “We knew our passing game had to be on point. We have good receivers.”
RECORDS: Cleveland (8-1, 3-0 Greater Neuse 3A) at Clayton (4-5, 2-1 Greater Neuse 3A)
THREE WHO MATTERED
J’vin Farmer, Cleveland: The junior recovered Cleveland’s onside kick when the ball bounced high over the Clayton players and he raced behind him for the recover at the Comets’ 30-yard line.
Jalen Chadwick, Clayton: The senior running back broke off an 80-yard run down the right sideline for the Comets’ only touchdown. He finished with six carries for 91 yards.
Isaiah Sanders, Clayton: The 6-3, 230-pound senior had two sacks in the first half and strong defensive play overall to keep the Comets in the game.
▪ In the Clayton city rivalry, Cleveland is the new school that opened in 2010 and Clayton the original school dating to 1901. As the Cleveland players ran onto the field at Clayton’s Nixon-Fowler Stadium, a banner was hoisted above them that read: “We’re the real C-Town.”
▪ Omarian Hampton, who has a scholarship offer from Duke, entered the game with 1,263 yards and 21 touchdowns in eight games – or is it six games? He didn’t play in the second half in four previojus games. He now has 1,491 yards and 23 TDs for the season.
Clev: Isaiah Sawyer 18 pass from Skyler Locklear (Bryce Womble kick)
Clev: Korren Artis 37 pass from Locklear (Womble kick)
Clay: Wyatt Williams 19 FG
Clev: Omarion Hampton 58 run (kick failed)
Clay: Jalen Chadwick 80 run (kick blocked)
Clev: Isaiah Sawyer 12 pass from Locklear (Womble kick)
Clev: Jacquez Durham 4 pass from Lockler (Womble kick)
Clev: Sawyer 72 pass from Locklear (kick failed)
Clev: Amir Johnson 10 run (Womble kick)