The Page Pirates found a way to win on Friday night without their top running back Javon Leake and the Pirates plugged the leak with Kioandre Paige and Micah Gafford and those two young men did more than their fair share in helping Page upset Dudley, in one of the better played football games that we have seen in the ‘Boro, in the past several years…
To do what Page did and to do it without Leake, that is just crazy and like some of our directors have said in the past, that is Crazy Good…
If Ernie Banks, the old Chicago Cub was around he would be saying let’s play two of these and Ernie might even be willing to skip his game in Chicago to come back to Greensboro and see another game like we saw tonight, if we could get Dudley and Page to go at it again on Saturday night/tomorrow night….
One thing I really liked about this game is that it captured the attention of our city and it made the ‘Boro stand out and football fans of all likes and ages were really taking notice of this game…
And meanwhile back at the game….Well, I also thought Will Jones, the Page Pirates’ quarterback, had a real strong game and he did a super job of running the show and setting his offense up with the short passes and hitting on the long passes, when the ‘Dudley Defense’ gave them to him…
A big night for the Page punter/kicker Thomas Murray as he pinned Dudley back deep on numerous occasions with his deep and high non-returnable punts, but there was that one punt and it was one of the better returns that I have seen this year, when Brion Seagraves hauled in the Page punt at right around the Dudley 41-yard line and proceeded to weave through Page defenders and Seagraves went on a run/return/march that took the ball all the way down to the Page 9-yard line with just under a minute to go and Seagraves gave his team a chance to win the game and that’s all you can ask out of your return man, right?
Seagraves got it done and that is one of the best plays that I have seen in quite a while…
Dudley down 23-22 and from the 9 on first down Hendon Hooker overthrows an open Thomas Young in the right corner of the end zone, but at least the incomplete pass stops the clock for Dudley and here they go, down one point ready for second-and-goal from the 9….On second-and-goal Hookers pass is on the money and Nigel Fitzgerald has the ball for the would-be touchdown, but Nigel can’t hold on to the ball as he hits the ground in the middle of the end zone and the ball comes out….Hendon Hooker takes off a run and he gets the ball down to around the 1 1/2 yards line on third-and-goal and then Dudley gets off the last play of the game on 4th-and-goal and the Panthers come up empty from about a half-yard out…
23-22 and Page had led down the stretch 23-16 but Dudley got on the board and went for two, as in going for the win and the pass went incomplete and you really have to give both of these teams credit, they made this one of those games for the ages, on October 28, 2016, at Marion Kirby Stadium….
And Dudley won this game 35-7 back in 2015 and tonight, Dudley was expected to possibly win by a bigger margin than last year, when you take into consideration that future DI back Javon Leake was missing from the Page lineup, out with the high ankle sprain….
Got to also give it up to Page Pirate defenders Tyler DeBerry and Corey White, as those two were creating havoc all night long in the Dudley offensive backfield and both those kids were making smokin’ hits and stops and they did not give up much ground in this Page-Dudley contest….
For Dudley in the second half, I thought Ezra Perkins got untracked running the football and he made some big runs to get Dudley moving on the ground in the second half of play and he had some of his better runs called back, due to penalties…..Thomas Young had a nice catch-and-run play on a pass from Dudley QB Hendon Hooker and Young took the ball all the way down to the Page 11-yard line, but this one ended up coming back and Dudley had to do the re-do and get the ball back down the field again and doing it the hard way like that, after hitting and getting inside the red zone, is not easy to do…It is hard to get that far and then have to come back up field and do it all over again, especially against a tough team like Page….
Like we are saying here tonight and this morning, this is one of those games for the ages and it ranks right up there with those Page-Mallard Creek and Page-Matthews Butler games from the past/back in 2011 and the Dudley-Charlotte Catholic game from back in 2013 and the Dudley-Ragsdale games from back in the 2009 and 2010 days….
Did you see all of those people out there at the Marion Kirby Stadium tonight?????
That place was packed and the crowd tonight was not too far off from the Grimsley at Page game in Marion Kirby Stadium, back in 2015….
And did you see North Carolina Tar Heel football coach Larry Fedora fly in, in his helicopter and he got there right before the game at around 7:20 and hung out at Page and in the ‘Boro until halftime of tonight’s game….
Loud and proud, and that might just best describe the Page Pirates’ fan base tonight/this morning….
Those kids/guys/young men that we were mentioning really were standing up tall tonight and for Page we were giving the Shout Out to Will Jones, Nick Mackovic(the Pirates center) and Mackovic was one of the players that the North Carolina coaches came to town to see tonight and he is plenty to see at about 6’6/300 pounds and was helping to lead the Page offense up and down the field tonight and Mackovic is one of those kids that has no limits, the sky is the limit for this kid….And we were talking about Coach Fedora and his helicopter and I was thinking just this morning(going back to Friday), how when we get up each day it is like we are almost putting on a parachute and jumping out a plane….
That is how life goes and the Shout Outs go on with Tyler DeBerry, Corey White, Thomas Murray, Micah Gafford, Kiondre Paige, Anthony Rodriguez, Ronald Polite and more….Those names are on the Page highlights reel….
I had never really heard anything about Anthony Rodriguez before tonight’s game…
And Dudley had Brion Seagraves, who had what might have been the singularly most stunning and impactful play of the game when he took off on that punt return and it was one for the ages, there is no doubt about that…Ezra Perkins got that Dudley team running in the second half and Hendon Hooker may want to be beating himself up this weekend, but he is a young man that played a very positive game and Hooker will learn from his mistakes and his Panther coaches helped make some adjustments at halftime tonight and Hooker played a very solid second half…
How about the man Patrick Conner from Dudley with a beautiful Pick Six and he went to house and to me Patrick Conner looked like Shaq Thompson from the Carolina Panthers when he/Conner took that ball back to house for six and that got Dudley the game, at that point Dudley trailed Page 16-0 and the TD on the Pick Six by Conner got Dudley within a touchdown of Page, heading to the half….
Down 16-8, Dudley tied the game up at 16-16 and this became a game that was not intended for the faint of heart….This ball game was going to cut right through to the heart and end up breaking a few hearts, before this night would end/be over….
I thought Awstyn Williams was money up front for Dudley like he usually is and he combined with Caleb Matthews, from Dudley, to give the Panthers a solid pass rush that caused some problems for the Pirates’ Will Jones….
One of the key flows of this game was the fact that the rush caused ‘some’ problems for Will Jones of Page, but for the most part, Will Jones was able to run his offense tonight with limited heartache and with that no huddle offense that Page employs, if the Pirates run or pass for big yardage and then get back to line of scrimmage and run another play right at you in a hurry, you find yourself going backwards on defense and it gets hard to catch up, let alone get up and be able to make the next play….
To make the call, Hendon Hooker and Will Jones were the two top players on the field tonight, but they did not steal the show….
We keep on breaking this down and as we do, we might be arriving at some key conclusions….Will Jones ran a real steady and real smooth show for Page and we knew he was going to be good, but where Page kicked it up incredible notches was with the RB Kioandre Paige….He was one of those real difference makers that we talk about….And with the defensive plays that Tyler DeBerry was making for Page, from his defensive end spot, I was calling him out as All-State tonight….
Page is now in great shape to go Unbeaten and win the Metro 4-A Conference and once they get Javon Leake back, the Pirates will be even better than they are now and on Friday night, October 28, Page was looking real good with those kids that just kept on stepping up and stepping out….
Anybody up for us playing two and recreating this game tomorrow night inside Marion Kirby Stadium at Page High School??? What do you say we go back Jack and do it again with legs turning round and round friend…
Two more Pirates that had good games for Page would have to be Assad Alston and Naseem Alston and we hear the two are not brothers, but they play close together when they get out there on that football field….
Offensive lineman Dacquari Wilson from Dudley was injured in the game and we hope the young man is going to be OK later on, here on Saturday morning….Myles White did a good job punting the ball in the game and have never seen the Dudley Panthers punt as many times as they did tonight, in the said ballgame….
Dudley had a nice receiver package with John Zellous, Thomas Young and Kayvon Brown on one side of the field and Nigel Fitzgerald on the other side of the field….Got to find ways to get those kids open and also ways to make those opposing DB’s move around, so Dudley, with Hendon Hooker at the controls, can find a way get the ball in the receiver’s hands so Dudley and Hooker can avoid those coverage sacks….
We will be looking back at this game for a good while to come and I feel certain, the last play of the game, with Hendon Hooker running into the line, near the Page one-yard line, that play will get some good video coverage over the next few days and if video proves out that Hendon Hooker got in on that last play, there will some satisfaction on Dudley’s part, but nothing can take away from the Page win and the fact that all of our teams have just one week left in the regular season and if you and your team is going to get anywhere, it must be you on the attack, with no looking back and as for me and my mind set, it is time to hit the sack….
Again, Page and Dudley men, that was a “Hard Fought Game” over at Marion Kirby Stadium on Friday night and if you see Coach Fedora flying by us in his helicopter again, tell him to stop and take a few of his new friends here on the ground, on a ride up there in the air and we want to ride on Tar Heel One….Right everyone and for sure if it is FREE….
On to the Saturday chores and more scores coming in, this time from College…..