Bulldogs top Decatur
Red-hot Caroline runs the clock once again to remain undefeated on the season
RIDGELY — The Bulldogs put the clock in motion the entire second half again with a 48-12 victory Friday evening against Stephen Decatur.
RIDGELY — The Bulldogs kept the chain gang on the move again and put the clock in motion the entire second half again Friday evening against Stephen Decatur.
North Caroline High’s football team scored seven touchdowns on nine possessions on its way to a 48-12 victory over the Seahawks in front of a festive, standing-roomonly crowd at Bulldogs Stadium.
David Bailey (three touchdowns) and Tyler Bauer (two touchdowns) each ran for over 100 yards, taking advantage of running room and also fighting hard for extra yardage.
The Bulldogs (5-0) have led by 35 points or more to create a running clock in the second half in every game so far this year.
North Caroline’s defense only allowed one big play to account for the Seahawks’ first score and allowed a late touchdown with reserves playing in the second half.
The outcome was decided in a dominating second quarter in which North Caroline scored 27 points to take a 41-6 lead at the half.
A fumble near the Seahawks’ goal line in the first quarter resulted in the only possession in which the Bulldogs didn’t score except for a final kneel down that ended the game.
The Bulldogs needed only five plays to go 68 yards on their first possession for a 6-0 lead. Bauer (142 yards) ran off right tackle for five yards. Bailey (104 yards) swept left, found plenty of room, and gained 22 yards to the Seahawks’ 41. Will Manship ran up the middle for five yards. Bailey swept right for 33 yards to the 3, and followed blockers into the end zone from there on the next play with 9 minutes, 57 seconds still on the first-quarter clock. Manship kicked his first of six extra points to make it 7-0.
Decatur didn’t pick up a single yard on its first possession as North Caroline swarmed Seahawks
running back Tah’Jeem Woodland on three running plays. Facing a third-and-15 and still running the ball, Decatur delivered the message that it was a one-dimensional team.
“We knew that they didn’t throw the ball a whole lot,” Bulldogs head coach James McCormick said. “So that helps us out and makes it a little bit easier. We had one defensive breakdown, that long run, other than that I thought we played a very good game defensively.”
North Caroline started its next possession on its 48 and needed only four plays to score again. Quarterback Cody Pepper hit Manship on a fly pattern down the visitors’ sideline for a 24-yard gain to the Seahawks’ 28. Bauer ran up the middle for eight yards as did Bailey for nine to the 11. Bailey then ran off left tackle, running over tacklers and carrying them into the end zone to make it 13-0 with 6:25 left in the first quarter.
The Seahawks (2-3) countered, though, in just two plays. On a second-and-6, Justin Mangianello burst off right tackle and outraced everyone for a 75-yard touchdown carry.
“Coach (Bob) Knox does a great job with his guys,” McCormick of Decatur’s head coach. “They’re well coached. They’re fundamentally sound. They’re disciplined. They played very hard, and very well early on. We made a few mistakes. The good news was we were able to rebound from those mistakes and play well after that.”
“It was about bouncing back,” Bulldogs defensive lineman JaMion Franklin said. “We knew they were going to give us their all and once they scored their first touchdown I told my guys, ‘Hey, you wanted a game, you’ve got a game.’ So we just tried to get everybody flying around, buying into what we’re all about.”
Mangianello’s TD run essentially ended the Seahawks’ attack. North Caroline’s Seth Taylor blocked the extra point and Decatur punted on its next four possessions.
After fumbling on its next possession, North Caroline scored touchdowns on its next five. A 10-play drive from its 48, slowed by a holding penalty, ended with Bailey’s 5-yard TD run to make it 20-6 with 9:30 left in the first half.
Bauer, sprung outside by a block by wide receiver and captain Timmy Eckrich, swept left and along the home sideline for a 78yard TD run, and a 27-6 lead with 6:51 remaining in the half. The extra-point attempt failed on a bumbled snap exchange.
“Overall, our O-line blocked,” Eckrich said. “We had a lot of plays to the outside, jet-blocking by our receivers. We just knew that we had to come out here and be focused and be fundamentally correct and we had to block everyone in front of us.”
A 42-yard punt return by Tynez Warner set up the Bulldogs’ next touchdown. On the ensuing drive, Pepper hit Cameron Brown with a lob pass for a 16-yard gain to the 5. Manship carried the ball in from there, untouched on a sweep right, to make it 33-6.
Another long return by Warner, this one a 45-yarder to the Seahawks’ 13, was followed by a TD run on the next play by Bauer for a 40-6 lead with 27 seconds left in the half. Manship’s extra point ensured a running clock in the second half.
“It’s something that happens,” McCormick said of the running clock. “We always try to get that extra point to get it. We don’t talk about it other than we try to prepare ourselves.”
With North Caroline’s second-team offense in the game in the third quarter, Savion Blake sprinted through the middle of the Seahawks’ defense for 35-yard TD run with 55 seconds left in the quarter. Manship’s extra point ended the Bulldogs’ scoring.
“Will kicked for us last year on jayvee,” McCormick said. “We knew he was a very good kicker and we knew that we would be getting him up on varsity this year. He actually came up and kicked for us in the playoffs last year, helped us out there.”
With Bulldogs reserves playing defense, the Seahawks produced their best drive, a 12-play scoring march that featured two fourth-down conversions. The second one was questionable as an 18-yard pass from quarterback Dominic Klebe to Montrel Moore was short and appeared to hit the ground.
Woodland capped the drive with an elusive cut-back run from the 15. A two-point try failed.
The Bulldogs travel to Easton next Friday.
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North Caroline running back Tyler Bauer begins a 78-yard touchdown run in the second quarter Friday evening against Stephen Decatur. Also pictured Jacob Brown (58).
North Caroline High’s David Bailey gains 33 yards on a sweep during the Bulldogs’ first possession Friday evening against Stephen Decatur.