Bulldogs bounce back after tough loss, beat Indians
Bailey scores three times, Potts twice in NC road victory
SALISBURY — After a shocking, lastminute Week 3 loss of which its coach said, “wouldn’t happen again if we replayed that 1,000 times,” the North Caroline High football team looked to bounce back Friday night against Wicomico High.
Three snaps into the game, the Bulldogs (3-1) were on their way.
Seth Taylor’s interception on the second Wi-Hi (1-3) play from scrimmage set the Bulldogs up at their hosts’ 16-yard line. Tay Potts ran for a score on his squad’s first offensive play, the first of his two on the night, as the Bulldogs won 33-6.
“You can tell they’re a good program,” Wi-Hi coach Brian Hanson said. “They’re well-coached, their kids have a lot of experience, and they simply know how to play . ... And when you see it, you know they’re a program. They’re not just a team — they’re a program.”
Potts, who ran for 78 yards on four carries and his team’s second touchdown before a knee-injury kept him off the field for the second half, provided the spark for a Bulldog offense that put up 304 yards of rushing; quarterback Cody Pepper passed for a score as well.
“Last week, there’s no way that happens twice in a lifetime,” Bulldogs coach James McCormick said of his team’s 21-14 defeat against Kent Island, coming by way of a blocked field goal by his team, which was returned for a touchdown in the final minute of regulation. “But you have to go forward from there.
“And I think, fundamentally, we did well today,” McCormick added. “Tay being hurt, that’s a loss if he can’t come back.”
Though his team visits a winless Decatur squad Friday at 6 p.m. for their next game, McCormick didn’t want to settle for Friday’s four-score win, saying his boys still need to work on “everything. Just everything. There’s still a lot of work we need to do, each week, for each game.”
After Potts ran for a second touchdown late in the first quarter, junior tailback David Bailey took over for the visitors.
One minute into the second quarter, Bailey, whose 111 yards rushing, coming on 11 carries, was a game-high, scampered in from 38 yards out on second-and-7 to make it 20-0. Pepper found Bailey on a corner route on the final Bulldog possession of the first half, their 26-yard completion good for a touchdown that made it 27-0 with 4.5 seconds to go.
Bailey’s third touchdown of the evening, coming on the third snap of the second half, was a run up the middle from seven yards out. Zaye Rochester’s attempt at a two-point conversion, which would’ve made the score 35-0, thereby starting the running clock, was stopped a yard shy of the end zone.
“The Bailey kid is a great athlete,” Hanson said. “He’s hard to stop, and he’s fast.”
“Wi-Hi’s not a bad team,” McCormick said. “They’ve got some really fast kids, and their offense can really give you trouble . ... They weren’t on the board a lot early, but their defense was very physical. We were hoping after David’s last touchdown to get that conversion, run the clock, and maybe shorten the game, but we couldn’t do it. And then they came down and scored a little later.”
Wi-Hi quarterback Jason Patterson, tasked with running the demanding triple-option offense, broke the ice for the Indians late in the third quarter.
Facing a first-and-10 from his team’s 16-yard line, Patterson ran left on a keeper. He got two good blocks, made a strong cut to his right at around midfield, and dashed downfield for an 86-yard score, the game’s longest of the night. Patterson’s two-point pass try failed, though, leaving the score 33-6.
North Caroline outgained Wi-Hi 304-206 on the ground; Pepper was 3-for-5 passing for 54 yards and the scoring toss to Bailey, while Patterson was 4-for-9 in the air for 45 yards and two interceptions, the second to Zach Smith early in the second quarter.
Wi-Hi’s next game is Friday at 7 p.m. on the road against Kent Island, the only remaining undefeated team in the Bayside Conference.
Kent Island 52, Decatur 0
BERLIN — The Buccaneers (4-0) dominated the Seahawks (0-4) from the opening whistle; Decatur didn’t have a first down on offense until the game’s final minute.
Junior running back Brandon Galloway’s 63-yard touchdown run was the longest touchdown of the night for the Bucs; seven different players scored in the win, and Bert Schrecongost, who went 5-for-6 kicking PATs, also booted a 35-yard field goal.
Braden Doyle scored on a 22yard run, Jordan Marciano found Dylan Finley for a 15-yard touchdown pass, and Austin Lyons, Cameron Boui, Selby Scaggs, and Bradley Graff each ran for scores in the win.