PREP FOOTBALL: Tough night for Saints, Rebels, Gators

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Southern Wayne, Spring Creek and North Duplin each endured a league loss on the football field Friday evening.

Trojans 62, Saints 14

FOUR OAKS – Jahmere Bannerman came off the bench and tossed a pair of touchdown passes as Southern Wayne dropped its second Quad County 3A Conference contest in a four-day period.

Bannerman filled in for starter Josh Kearney, who suffered an elbow injury.

“He was a little nervous, of course,” Saints head coach Ronnie McClary Jr. said. “He did what we asked him to do, moved the ball a couple of times. His ankle was hurting for most of the second half.”

A sophomore, Bannerman ended the night 6 of 14 for 56 yards. He completed scoring strikes to Chris Carmon (eight yards) and Kevin Brown (10 yards) in the second and fourth quarters, respectively.

Brown and Josh Kearney combined for 43 yards on two completions.

The Saints also lost punter Daylan Kornegay to a knee injury.

Mar’kwon Smith replaced Kornegay, but exited with an injury.

“We did not punt in the third and fourth quarter,” said McClary Jr., whose team logged four fourth-down conversions on five tries.

South Johnston allowed minus-one yard rushing on 31 attempts.

The Trojans had a blocked punt for a touchdown, a kickoff return for a TD and recorded a safety. They led 21-0 after the opening quarter.

“We told them, for the most part, they played hard,” McClary Jr. said. “Our goal now is just becoming mentally prepared for games and practices, things that can help us (get) better in a game. We know they know what they’re doing, it’s just a matter of getting locked in.

“We’ll keep working, keep it moving.”

Southern Wayne (1-5, 0-3 QCC) returns home Friday to face Smithfield-Selma.

Leopards 28, Rebels 21

SALEMBURG – Freshman quarterback Luke Kelly set season and career highs for completions, total passing yards, total rushing yards and rushing touchdowns as North Duplin launched its Carolina 1A Conference season.

Kelly ended the night 10 for 13 for 124 yards and spread the wealth among five receivers. Luis Olivos reeled in three passes for 47 yards. Levi George had two receptions for 31 yards, while Landen Kelly had two catches for 29 yards.

DuJuan and Donovan Armwood combined for three catches for 17 yards.

“Our receivers, their routes were good and crisp for us,” Rebels head coach Hugh Martin said. “That enabled Luke to find spots and our pass protection was good.”

Kelly rushed for 56 yards and two scores on four attempts.

Eli Morrisey paced the Rebels’ run game with 65 yards on 15 carries. DuJuan Armwood posted 37 yards and a touchdown on nine rushes. Olivos piled up 30 yards on five attempts.

“We were running hard when we had opportunities,” Martin said. “We weren’t able to consistently make some blocks we needed to make in some places.”

Lakewood returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and converted a second-quarter fumble recovery into a TD just before halftime. Martin said that exchange made a difference.

The Rebels trailed 14-7 at the break.

Martin said the team will continue to grow and develop, particularly the younger players.

“As we look at the film, I knew it was going to be a lot of little things we’d see,” he said. “Defensively, we missed a few tackles here and there. [Our] effort was good trying to get to the spot.”

North Duplin (2-4 overall, 0-1 Carolina) continues its three-game road swing Friday at Bear Grass Charter.

Warriors 64, Gators 0

SEVEN SPRINGS – Spring Creek moved the football, but couldn’t overcome turnovers during its homecoming contest against Neuse Six 2A rival Eastern Wayne at “The Swamp.”

Dylan Davidson paced the Gators’ running attack with 107 yards on 14 carries. Fullback Robert Wiggins and David Williams rushed for 81 and 21 yards, respectively.

“We had success running the football with our big backs,” said Spring Creek head coach Daniel Robinson. “Wiggins and Davidson averaged over five yards per carry and the offensive line did a much better job this week. The game plan was to keep their offense off the field and the formula was working until the turnovers started to pile up.”

SC had six turnovers.

“[Turnovers] really killed several drives early in the game,” Robinson said.

Cory Davis emerged as Spring Creek’s top defender with five tackles. Williams and Jack Kornegay logged four tackles apiece.

“Eastern Wayne’s team speed gave us all sorts of trouble trying to tackle,” Robinson said. “They are a very explosive team with weapons everywhere.”

The Gators (3-3 overall, 0-2 Neuse Six) travels to league-leading and unbeaten Princeton on Friday.

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