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Lions’ 9. Two plays later Tyler Bauer fol­lowed block­ers through the mid­dle to cut the Lions’ lead to 7-6. Will Man­ship then kicked his first of seven con­sec­u­tive ex­tra­points to tie it.

“We started with some bumps in the road,” McCormick said. “They had a nice kick­off re­turn, big play, and the thing I liked was our guys never flinched. They didn’t back down. We took the kick­off, drove it down the field, tied the game, and never looked back.”

Af­ter scor­ing their touch­down, the Lions punted six times, turned the ball over twice with an in­ter­cep­tion and a fum­ble, and lost the ball on downs to ac­count for their re­main­ing pos­ses­sions.

A five-play scor­ing drive put North Caro­line in front to stay. Bull­dogs quar­ter­back Cody Pepper hit Bai­ley deep down the mid­dle for a 36-yard gain to the Lions’ 16. Three plays later, Bai­ley scored from five yards out to make it 13-7 with 3:35 left in the first quar­ter.

On the Bull­dogs next play from scrim­mage, Bai­ley swept left and raced down the vis­i­tors side­line for a 69-yard touch­down carry with 39 sec­onds left in the first quar­ter.

“I have to give all my credit to my line tonight,” Bai­ley said. “They blocked their tails off. My wide re­ceiver, Cameron Brown, and all of them, they blocked great. Quar­ter­back made some good de­ci­sions and the coaches made some great play call­ing.”

Queen Anne’s man­aged just two yards on its next pos­ses­sion, and North Caro­line used five plays to score again. Man­ship found run­ning room off right tackle and cut out­side for a 27-yard gain to the Lions’ 35. Bai­ley picked up seven yards off left tackle and Bauer ran up the mid­dle for 15 yards be­fore Man­ship cruised through a gap­ing hole in the right side of the Lions’ de­fense for a 13-yard TD run.

Man­ship found an­other large hole and scored from 32 yards out with 6:45 left in the first half.

“Will’s a good lit­tle back,” McCormick said. “He makes nice cuts for us. He gets ver­ti­cal. He does things the way we want him to do it. He had a heck of a game block­ing tonight. He had some good car­ries, some good run­ning. And I’ll tell you what, our of­fen­sive line came alive tonight. We had some ques­tions about them and were they go­ing to get better. They got better tonight.”

Block­ing on the of­fen­sive line for the Bull­dogs were Jack Webb, Noah Schall, Ja­cob Brown, Alex Grable, Jamil Work­man, and tight end Tucker Stevens.

Pepper con­nected with Brown on a quick out pass and Brown slipped past a de­fender and ran down the vis­i­tors side­line for a 57-yard touch­down to make it 41-7 with a lit­tle over two min­utes left in the half.

The Lions moved the ball 29 yards on their last pos­ses­sion of the first half. But with only 11 sec­onds on the clock, North Caro­line’s Tynez Warner in­ter­cepted a deep pass into the end zone.

With a run­ning clock in the sec­ond half, pos­ses­sions were lim­ited. On the first play of three sec­ond-half pos­ses­sions for North Caro­line, Bai­ley burst off left tackle and ran un­touched 84 yards into the end zone for a 48-7 lead.

“He’s a grown man,” McCormick said of Bai­ley, who is headed to Bos­ton Col­lege. “He’s a heck of a ballplayer. He’s the best kid I’ve ever coached as far as run­ning back and skill guy. He’s special and we’re just glad that he’s with us and stay­ing healthy right now.”

With re­serves play­ing, Savion Blake ran through the mid­dle and bounced out­side for a 40-yard run for the Bull­dogs’ fi­nal touch­down with 2:34 to play.

Fol­low me on Twit­ter @csknauss / email me at

ck­nauss@star­dem.com

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