Bull­dogs roll over De­catur

Caro­line im­proves to 4-1 af­ter Bai­ley nets 5 touch­downs

Times-Record - - Sports - By DAVID INSLEY dins­ley@stardem.com

RIDGELY — Many high school foot­ball coaches agree scor­ing early and of­ten is the best way to win.

North Caro­line High tail­back David Bai­ley did just that Satur­day night against Stephen De­catur, scor­ing four rush­ing touch­downs and catch­ing a pass for another in a 41-13 rout.

The Bull­dogs im­proved to 4-1, while De­catur slipped to 0-5.

“They’re a re­ally good team,” De­catur head coach Stan Griffin said. “And not only were they do­ing what they were sup­posed to be do­ing, we weren’t do­ing what we should’ve been. ... And we didn’t start do­ing it well, ex­e­cut­ing, un­til the sec­ond half.”

De­catur, held to just a pair of first downs be­fore half­time, had lit­tle luck on its open­ing drive and punted. Bai­ley struck quickly, his 35yard dash around left end on Caro­line’s first play from scrim­mage mak­ing it 7-0 fol­low­ing Robbie Blakely’s point-af­ter kick, with 2½ min­utes elapsed in the first quar­ter.

Bai­ley struck on the Bull­dogs’ next drive, scor­ing from 17 yards out. His ju­nior class­mate, de­fen­sive line­man Jamion Franklin, set up the next scor­ing drive when he burst through the line on a bad snap, sacked De­catur quar­ter­back Quinn Ebaugh, knock­ing the ball loose, and fall­ing on it to give Caro­line pos­ses­sion. Bai­ley’s 7-yard touch­down run made it 21-0 on the last play of the first quar­ter.

Bai­ley’s fourth rush­ing score came less than five min­utes later, this time from six yards out. He fin­ished with 119 yards rush­ing on 11 touches.

The scor­ing out­burst on the weak side came, ac­cord­ing to North Caro­line head coach James McCormick, be­cause of suc­cesses De­catur had on the other end of the line.

“They were caus­ing us some prob­lems on the strong side with our run­ning game, try­ing to get off­tackle,” McCormick said. “I think they were loaded so hard to the strong side that we started run­ning weak, and that was what worked.”

“I kinda knew we had it in the first half, be­cause our guys came out play­ing great,’ Bai­ley said. “Since the first play the line­men were play­ing great; we got great play call­ing from the coaches.”

North Caro­line se­nior full­back Al­lan Saathoff, who car­ried a pair of de­fend­ers to the 5-yard line to set up a first-and-goal sit­u­a­tion in the wan­ing mo­ments of the first half, dashed in on the next snap to make it 34-0. But the PAT sailed wide right, pre­vent­ing the run­ning clock, which stops only for time­outs and in­juries, as the sec­ond half be­gan.

It took Caro­line only three min­utes af­ter in­ter­mis­sion to get it go­ing, though. Quar­ter­back Cody Pep­per found Bai­ley wide open down the left side­line for a 29-yard score on fourth-and-6. Ahead 41-0, the Bull­dogs looked ready to cruise, with 9½ min­utes left in the third and the Sea­hawks show­ing lit­tle of­fense.

But Avante’ Pur­nell changed that on the next pos­ses­sion. His 77-yard dash to the end zone on the first snap af­ter Pep­per’s pass fi­nally got De­catur on the board; John Ford’s PAT made it 41-7, and turned off the run­ning clock.

Ed Zon­nak’s 9-yard touch­down run at the end of the third quar­ter pulled De­catur within 41-13.

Not much had ac­tu­ally changed af­ter half­time, McCormick said.

“They were just play­ing bet­ter than we were,” McCormick com­mented with a laugh. “They kept bang­ing and play­ing hard . ... I think that we lost a lit­tle con­cen­tra­tion, think­ing maybe the game was over and not do­ing the things we needed to do.”

The four-score mar­gin was as close as it got, though. De­spite a Bull­dog drive deep into the Sea­hawk red zone in the last two min­utes, a lost fum­ble killed it. De­catur re­cov­ered at its 1-yard line, and ran one play be­fore the clock ex­pired.

North Caro­line hosts Park­side on Fri­day at 7 p.m. for home­com­ing. Rams head coach Bren­dan Ri­ley and three of his staff were on hand to scout the first half of Satur­day’s game, which had been post­poned 24 hours due to bad weather.

“They’re a big, phys­i­cal team; they’re go­ing to come right at you,” McCormick said of Park­side. “They’re tal­ented, they have some speed. We’re just go­ing to have to coach well and play well, we know that.”

De­catur hosts Kent County on Fri­day at 6 p.m.

PHOTO BY DAVID INSLEY

North Caro­line ju­nior tail­back David Bai­ley watches his team’s de­fense play, shortly af­ter he had scored his fourth touch­down of the night in his team’s 41-13 de­feat of vis­i­tor Stephen De­catur, on Satur­day, Oct. 1. Bai­ley fin­ished with five scores on the night.

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