On a night where Thomasville’s 48-game winning streak ends, the season ended for most of our area teams in Guilford County. As the old saying goes, “and then there was one”, and that one is DUDLEY.
Dudley got the job done while our other teams were falling and Dudley got it done on the road although they only had to travel about 10.5 miles up the road on Highway 29 North from Lincoln Street to the Northeast Guilford campus off of Hicone Road.
Thomasville was eliminated 33-21 by Jordan Matthews out of Siler City and Charlotte Independence returned an earlier favor as they knocked off Matthews Butler 21-7 after Butler beat Independence 21-20 a couple of weeks back while coach Tom Knotts was away.
As we talk about elimination, three of our teams left town and they came back home late last night with an empty feeling. Let’s start closest to home with Western Guilford traveling in the same direction as Siler City but stopping off at the Ramseur exit as they moved along on Highway 421-South. WG saw their season end as Eastern Randolph got it rolling early and sent the Hornets packing after a 45-13 Wildcat victory. ER went up 24-7 at the half and never looked back. Jarrod Bowman was the star for ER with several TD catches and some excellent defensive plays. ER over WG and it was on to the ER(Emergency Room) for the Hornets.
Grimsley had to travel to Charlotte and they found the going tough against the top-seeded Lions of West Charlotte. The Whirlies made a good showing for themselves before going down 22-14 and ended their season at (11-2). Bobby Grier and Darius Thomas were tough for WC, but Zach Maynard kept Grimsley in the game with two TD passes, one to Kelsey Stevens and the other one going to James Scales III. The Whirlies held the vaunted Lion passing attack of Darius Thomas to 192 yards and two TD’s. Thomas finished the night 15-19 with one interception.
Southern Guilford went all the way to St. Pauls and by the time they got back home to Sumner all they had to show for their efforts was another loss to SP for the second straight year. Bernard Williams rushed for 380 yards and 5 touchdowns against the SG Storm defense. Williams had over 2,000 yards rushing coming into the game and he poured it on as SP took care of SG winning 43-27. It was a 16-13 game at the half and for Southern QB Antonio Martin threw for 4 TD’s, but when you look on the scoreboard at the end of the game it’s still St. Pauls moving on to play at Reidsville next week.
Just like it says in your Saturday morning News and Record, the Dudley Panthers survived at Northeast Guilford. It was a back-and-forth game all night and just when you thought Northeast might have enough points to close it out Dudley would would come right back and re-gain the lead. NEG was driving to the west end zone and got the ball all the way down to the 12 yard line but Kendall Bratcher’s pass to TC Coker was knocked away as two Dudley defenders were back in coverage and the Panthers walked away with the 18-13 win.
Kenny Okoro threw a long pass to Julian Alford to set up what proved to be his game-winning two yard TD run. Okoro is the Panther’s third-string quarterback and Jeff Carlton said it right in the N&R by stating that on Okoro’s pass to Alford that Julian Alford got inside position on the defender Jamal Rasool. The pass was thrown on third-and-five from the 30 yard line and Okoro just rolled to his right and heaved it toward the goal-line and Alford got good body position on Rasool and made the catch. The ball stayed in the air for an eternity and probably should have been intercepted but Alford used his body and kept the ball between him and the defender and the rest is history.
I’ve got the feeling that they will be talking about that pass and catch for many years to come. Ricky Lewis Jr. played exceptionally well for the Panthers as did runningbacks Kyree Ward and Joseph Jackson. Rayshawn Trader was the offensive star for Northeast with Michael Via and Bryant Williamson also turning in strong performances.
Like I’m telling you they will be talking about that Kenny Okoro pass to Julian Alford for many years to come, that one is the stuff legends are made of. Next week Dudley(10-3) will travel to face Nash Central, 53-20 winners over Wilson Hunt on Friday night. Dudley is a #7 seed and Nash Central is seeded third.
Don’t forget the Grimsley Whirlies(20-3-1) take on Raleigh Broughton(27-0-1) for the 4-A boys soccer title tonight in Raleigh at the WRAL Soccer Complex. Broughton is ranked 2nd in the nation.
We’ll close it out with a note by a photographer from one of the area papers. He was telling me that he was trying to get as many good shots as he could and he was really working hard at it but you can’t get them all. He did have some interns helping and he asked them if they happened to get a good shot on one of the pass plays, one of the biggest of the night. “Did you get a shot on that Pass asked the veteran photographer”? “What’s a Pass replied the intern”?