Daily Press (Sunday)

Bulldogs cruise to 9-0 start

- By Jim McGrath

CHESAPEAKE — Fifth-ranked King’s Fork extended its undefeated season to 9-0 Friday night with a 48-7 win over Deep Creek.

Coach Anthony Joffrion was not pleased with the Bulldogs’ performanc­e, though they will win their first outright Southeaste­rn District championsh­ip if they win, as expected, at home against Hickory.

“If we play like we did tonight, we’ll be out in the second round,” Joffrion said to his team after the game.

At face value, it was hard to see the chink in the Bulldogs’ armor. King’s Fork gathered 500 yards of total offense while holding the hosts to 34 yards on 25 carries. The defense picked off Deep Creek quarterbac­k Brock Hoffman twice and recovered two fumbles.

And on a night when JaVon Ford — who gained 235 yards on 44 carries with three touchdowns in last week’s win over Oscar Smith — was held to 12 on eight carries (albeit with two short TDs), the supporting cast of Bulldogs did a credible job with carrying the load.

Quarterbac­k D’Andre ArtisBoone threw for four touchdowns and 268 yards, with two scoring throws to Eric Staton Jr. (three catches, 87 yards). The other two TDs were a great high placement pass to Jahmel Mackey, which the receiver leaped to grab, and the final pass to Darryl Wilson Jr.

Keontae Bumpers added a 90-yard TD run early in the second half to push the Bulldogs’ lead to 34-0.

The Hornets came out like a team ready to explore its bag of tricks, attempting an onside kick on the opening kickoff. The strategy failed when the ball traveled only 8 yards, two short of the length needed.

With an advantageo­us break, Artis-Boone went to work, completing two passes to Staton, with the second good for 29 yards and a near touchdown. However, the speedy receiver was called out of bounds at the 1. On the next play, Ford scored, and Jean-Pierre Bilé’s extra point gave the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead.

Staton weaved through the Deep Creek defense for King’s Fork’s second score. After a second Ford TD, Mackey’s leaping 32-yard touchdown reception pushed the visitors’ lead to 28-0 at halftime.

The Hornets (4-5) got on the board in the final quarter with Hoffmann firing a 20-yard dart into the end zone, where diving Alford Gill corralled the pass.

Deep Creek, which entered the evening ranked sixth in Class 5 Region A, will travel to Lakeland to complete the regular season.

Jim McGrath, 757-813-3809, james. mcgrath@virginiame­dia.com

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