Bulldogs rout Rams
McCormick captures 100th victory
RIDGELY — North Caroline High football head coach James McCormick always preaches the importance of sweat equity and hard work for success.
By the final gun in Friday’s 49-6 victory against 2A playoff contender Parkside, McCormick was dripping wet. The reason came in the form of a Gatorade bath in celebration for the coach’s 100th career victory.
With his win total in the triple digits, a humble McCormick gave the credit to everyone in the program.
“We reached this milestone because of players, coaches, parents and community members that have come through this school and supported this program,” he said. “I’ve been extremely blessed to work with outstanding coaches over the years.
“I may receive credit for the win, but the real credit belongs to players, coaches and community,” he added. “I’m just incredibly proud and honored to be a part of it.”
In game billed a big early season test, the Bulldogs rolled early, leading 49-0 midway through the second quarter. Senior running back and Boston College commit David Bailey (166 yards) rushed for four scores. Quarterback Cody Pepper (3 for 7, 48 yards) threw a touchdown pass to Cameran Brown (3 catches, 48 yards). Tyler Bauer (56 yards) scored on a run. Notre Dame commit Jamion Franklin also blocked a put, scooped up the ball and scored a touchdown.
In the second quarter alone, North Caroline (2-0) scored 35 points, making for a quick second half with a running clock.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
“It was an awesome team win,” McCormick said. “Every game is a big game, but this one is against a 2A playoff contender and a great Parkside team. We had a great week in practice, and it showed with how strong our guys came out of the gates.
“The offense line did a great job,” he added. “The guys up front worked really hard in practice, and you could see that pay off today with how well we ran the ball.
“David Bailey is a special back,” he continued. “He makes things happen on his own. Defense played outstanding. The defense got a lot of three-and-outs and turnovers to give the offense great field position. I’m ver y proud of all the kids.”
The Bulldog defense held the Rams to 35 yards of offense and second first downs in the first half.
Defensive back Tynez Warner was all over the field making plays. He opened the game with a tackle for loss and a pass defense on the first two plays from scrimmage.
He intercepted a pass, recovered a fumble and returned a punt for 40 yards. His defensive plays gave the Bulldog offense great field position.
Bailey got the offense moving on his first carry, a 43-yard sweep to the left. He capped the opening drive with a 10-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-three to give North Caroline a 7-0 lead.
The Bulldogs began their next possession in Ram territory after Warner’s 40-yard punt return. Bailey moved the chains on a fourth-down run.
Facing another fourth down, this time fourthand-12 from the 14, Pepper passed to the end zone for Brown who made a leaping catch in double coverage for a touchdown.
The Parkside (1-1) offense did not get a chance to answer the 14-0 North Caroline lead because Owen Joseph recovered an onside kick for the Bulldogs.
The North Caroline offense faced another fourth down of the first half, and Pepper and Brown made it four for four with Brown hauling in Pepper’s pass down the sideline for a 26yard gain. Bailey scored two plays later for a 20-0 lead.
McCormick joked the only thing holding back the offense was his play calling.
“It means their idiot head coach needs to throw the ball earlier than fourth down,” he said. “Cody and Cameran are good kids. They have been working hard.
“We have a lot of confidence in what they can do in the passing game,” he added. “Cody does such a great job for us at quarterback. I need to get the ball in the air more to those guys.”
Warner’s intercepted on the Rams’ next possession put North Caroline inside the 25. Bailey scored two plays later for a 27-0 lead.
After another Ram threeand-out, Franklin bursted through the line to block the punt. He then flung a Parkside to the ground, picked up the loose ball and scored the touchdown for a 35-0.
The second quarter points explosion continued when Noah Jeffers recovered a Parkside fumble on the ensuing kickoff. Bauer scored two plays later from 11 yards out to put the Bulldogs up 41-0.
The Bulldog defense forced another Ram punt. On the second play of the drive, Bailey sprinted into the end zone from 48 yards. Zach Smith caught a Pepper pass for a two-point conversion and a 49-0 lead.
Parkside got on the board early in the third quarter on a 20-yard touchdown pass from Andrew Smith to Tyler Poulson. The Rams second drive of the second half ended with an interception by Michael Cohen.
The Bulldogs travel to Cambridge-South Dorchester next Friday, Sept. 15.
“We just have to keep getting better, and put in a great week of work at practice because we have another big game against a really tough Cambridge team,” McCormick said.
Jamion Franklin, left, and Jamil Workman give North Caroline head coach James McCormick a Gatorade bath after McCormick earned his 100th career victory with a 49-6 win over Parkside on Friday.
North Caroline’s Jamion Franklin scores a touchdown after he blocked a Parkside punt on Friday evening.