Perfect 10 for the Bulldogss
RIDGELY — North Caroline defeated Colonel Richardson 42-14 Friday, Nov. 3, to take the Superintendent’s Cup, top regional seed and home field in the playoffs. North Caroline is now 10-0, Colonel 6-4, posting just its third winning 10-game season in the school’s history. Both teams made the playof fs.
RIDGELY — A lot was riding on Friday night’s football game between North Caroline High and county rival Colonel Richardson.
The Colonels were looking to lock down a playoff berth for just the second time in school history. The Bulldogs were hoping to complete their second perfect regular season since their school opened its doors.
Also on the line for the Bulldogs was the prospect of a happy Senior Night celebration, and the continuation of county bragging rights, as they looked to extend their hold on the Superintendent’s Cup for an 11th straight year.
But more importantly, a Bulldogs win would clinch the top Class 2A East Regional playoff seed, and home-field advantage through the state semifinals, should the team make it that far.
The Bulldogs checked off everything on their list, winning 42-14 to take the cup, top regional seed, and home field. North Caroline is now 10-0, Colonel 6-4, posting just its third winning 10game season in the school’s histor y.
Colonel wasn’t willing to let their county rivals have an easy time early, doing two things in the first quarter no one had done to North Caroline all year. First, the Colonels out-gained their hosts 64 yards to 51. Secondly, the Colonels shut the Bulldogs out in the first quarter.
“I don’t think all season we had gone through the first quarter scoreless,” North Caroline 17-year coach James McCormick said. “We had one game, Parkside, where we were up 7-0, but I think that was it all season.”
As the final eight minutes of the first half ticked away, though, a flurry of points hit the scoreboard, two-thirds of them belonging to North Caroline.
David Bailey (17 carries, 133 yards) capped a 10-play, 85-yard scoring drive — the longest on the night by either team — with a 2-yard run. Will Manship kicked the first of six point-after tries to make it 7-0, with 7 minutes, 53 seconds to go before intermission.
Colonel, held to just 12 yards rushing on 16 firsthalf carries, went to the air on the ensuing drive. After a 2-yard loss on the first play of the drive, quarterback Jake Zebron (4 for 12 passing, 177 yards, two scores) hit Robert Thompson III on the left side of the field with a screen pass. Thompson found a seam, and raced 70 yards for a score, which Remy Mangum tied 7-7 with a PAT at the 6:45 mark.
North Caroline answered quickly, returning the next
kickoff to the Colonel 32yard line for its best field position on the game. Four plays later, Bailey, with 5:35 to go in the half, scored again from two yards out to put the Bulldogs up for good at 14-7.
Colonel went three-andout quickly, and North Caroline scored again, going 65 yards on nine snaps to score; this time it was Manship, who jumped in from a yard out to make it 21-7.
Despite the Bulldogs busting loose in the second quarter, Colonel hung tough for one more drive. And it took just one play, another screen pass from Zebron. This time, he found Ty’Mir Foster for 55 yards and Colonel’s second score.
“I think in the first half in particular, we did an excellent job at containing Bailey,” Colonel head coach Dan Mangum said. “I’ve been in this program 13 years, and North Caroline hasn’t changed their offense a whole lot over that time . ... They run the same traps, the same things, overall, that they’ve run for years. But they run them very, very well. And if they do that, knowing what they might run doesn’t mean you’re going to stop them.
“But I think we did a good job at containing Bailey, for the most part,” Coach Mangum said. “He’s a bigplay guy, and we didn’t allow that big play all night . ... I think we played ‘em well for the most part. They’re just better.”
Bailey, who routinely gashes opposing defenses for long touchdown jaunts, had 90 yards at halftime, but no run longer than his 19yard carry on his team’s first scoring drive. However, the Bulldogs as a team picked up the offensive pace. With just 32 yards on the ground in the first quarter, the Bulldogs ran 18 running plays in the second, racking up 142 yards, an average of just under eight per touch.
“Colonel had a good game plan coming in,” McCormick said. “They had a ballcontrol offense, and they used up clock in the first quarter. The first quarter went by pretty quickly, but in the second quarter our guys picked it up and that’s when we started getting better results.”
North Caroline, which ran 12 first-quarter plays to 15 by the Colonels, ran 26 in the second, to just 7 by its opponent, possessing the ball for nearly 10 of the period’s 12 minutes. Part of it was a function of Colonel’s two brief scoring drives, the rest a result of the Bulldog defense, which held Colonel to minus-4 rushing yards on five second-quarter attempts.
Starting their final drive of the first half at midfield, North Caroline got a 25-yard pass from quarterback Cody Pepper to Cameran Brown to the Colonel 12. Pepper found Bailey wide open in the right side of the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown strike to make it 28-14 at the break.
“I thought that late touchdown in the second quarter killed us when we had the blown coverage,” Coach Mangum said. “I think halftime, if you’re going in down one score ... I’m not saying we win the game, but the outcome wouldn’t have been as much ... I think that took a toll a little bit on us at the half.
“If you go in down one score, yeah, you’re right there with them,” he added. “But two scores, the feeling is ... it’s kind of out of reach at that point.”
North Caroline added a 1-yard Pepper sneak, and a 6-yard Bailey scoring run, in the second half to salt away the win.
Colonel had some success between the 20s after halftime, and on its final drive got within the Bulldogs’ 3, setting up a first-and-goal and putting the guests one short play from scoring the most points on the Bulldogs this season. But a personalfoul penalty against the Colonels, moved them back to the 18, and the drive ended in a turnover on downs four plays later.
With 15 seconds to go after Colonel’s last push, Pepper lined up in the victory formation he had used in the nine games prior, and knelt to kill the clock.
Colonel, thanks in large part to Bohemia Manor’s 28-0 defeat of Perryville Friday night, made the 1A East playoffs as the fourthseeded team. Colonel will visit top-seeded Havre de Grace (9-1) on Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. North Caroline opens its playoff run against Kent Island (8-2), which routed county rival Queen Anne’s 48-0 on Friday to earn the fourth Class 2A East seed. The Bulldogs defeated Kent
Island nine days ago, 35-14.
Notes: Colonel had four winning records over 10 games, but the team had to forfeit three victories in 2006, when it finished 6-4 on the gridiron, due to the use of an ineligible player. The team’s official record for that year due to this is 3-7 . ... North Caroline outgained Colonel 252-74 on the ground . ... Pepper finished the night 8 for 13 passing for 115 yards and one score, and an NFLsystem passer rating of 115.9.
Follow me on Twitter: @ David_stardem.â€‹
The North Caroline High football team celebrates its 11th straight Superintendent’s Cup victory on Friday evening. The Bulldogs defeated county rival Colonel Richardson, 42-14. With the win, North Caroline completed its second 10-0 regular season in school history, and locked down top seed in the Class 2A East playoffs, as well as home field through the third playoff round.
North Caroline quarterback Cody Pepper gives instructions to his backs during a drive Friday night at home against Colonel Richardson. Pepper threw a touchdown pass in the 42-14 win, which improved his team to 10-0 on the season.
While Will Manship (33) blocks for him, North Caroline’s David Bailey (2) runs for a first down Friday night at home against Colonel Richardson. Bailey ran for 113 yards and four touchdowns in his team’s 42-14 victory.
North Caroline’s Tyler Bauer runs for a first down during Friday night’s win over Colonel Richardson.
North Caroline’s Will Manship follows through on a point-after kick during the third quarter of Friday night’s game. Manship converted on all six PAT tries in the win.