Havelock's road to a fifth straight Coastal 3A Conference was not easy.
Video highlights of the game can be viewed at: http://widget.newsinc.com/_cfvp/playlist16x9_player.html?CID=15348&WID=25274&VID=25340984&freewheel=91764&sitesection=havenews_hom_non_fro&external_url=http://www.havenews.com/
Video interview with Havelock coach Jim Bob Bryant can be viewed at: http://widget.newsinc.com/_cfvp/playlist16x9_player.html?CID=15348&WID=25274&VID=25341042&freewheel=91764&sitesection=havenews_hom_non_fro&external_url=http://www.havenews.com/
VANCEBORO – The West Craven Eagles fought valiantly at home Friday on Senior Night, holding the Havelock Rams under 25 points for the first time since Aug. 19, 2011 (a 24-14 win over J.H. Rose).
However, with the Coastal Conference championship and a 24-game winning streak on the line, the Rams would not falter, prevailing with a 21-7 victory and a fifth-straight Coastal Conference crown.
“Credit West Craven, their kids played well,” Havelock coach Jim Bob Bryant said. “They got the better of us in that first half, but we came out and made adjustments and won the second half.
“It was an outstanding football game and in a good league like ours. We’re happy to win it. We still haven’t peaked though and still have a lot of work to do.”
The Eagles led 7-6 at halftime. After forcing West Craven to punt on its first possession of the second half, the Rams drove down the field in a drive that was capped by an 18-yard touchdown pass from Travis Sabdo to Micheal Bowman for a 13-7 lead.
Sabdo tacked on a 2-yard keeper in the fourth quarter and a Taylor Woods two-point conversion accounted for the 21-7 final.
Havelock senior star running back Derrell Scott rushed for 105 yards on 21 carries, ending his final prep regular season with 1,424 rushing yards.
Eagles’ senior quarterback Alkeim Harley passed for 166 yards and a 6-yard touchdown to Derek Adams, in addition to reeling in an interception on defense.
West Craven coach Matt Riggsbee said that he was beyond proud of his squad after the game.
“We played like conference champions tonight,” Riggsbee said. “Our defense was flying around to the football. We just made too many mistakes and penalties and you can’t do that and have a chance against a great team like Havelock.”
Both teams are in the 3A state playoffs as Havelock (11-0, 6-0) will be a No. 1 seed, while West Craven (7-4, 4-2) is the No. 4 seed based on a draw after tying Swansboro and Jacksonville for second place in the league.
“After seeing the guys play their butts off against Havelock the way they did, I feel very good going into the playoffs,” Riggsbee said. “I think the guys are excited to get to begin a new season much like they were after we lost to Conley to end the non-conference season.”
Havelock 6 0 7 8 - 21
West Craven 0 7 0 0 – 7
H – Taylor Woods 3 run (kick blocked)
WC – Derek Adams 6 pass from Alkeim Harley (Noah Lewis kick)
H – Micheal Bowman 18 pass from Travis Sabdo (Dylan Baker kick)
H – Sabdo 2 run (Woods 2-point conversion good)
First Downs 17 17
Rushes-Yards 35-170 35-76
Passing Yards 94 166
Comp-Att-Int 9-19-2 14-27-1
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 3-0
Penalties-Yards 9-88 7-85
Punts-Avg. 2-44.5 4-36.0
Passing: Havelock – Travis Sabdo 9-19 - 94 yards (TD, 2 INT). West Craven – Alkeim Harley 14-25 – 166 yards (TD), Darious Abrams 0-1, Kenny McDaniel 0-1 (INT).
Rushing: Havelock – Derrell Scott 21-105 yards, Matt Boykin 5-43, Taylor Woods 6-15 (TD), Sabdo 3-7 (TD). West Craven – Tyquail Raynor 16-44 yards, Kylikke Green 3-11, Harley 9-9, Tyrone Brown 1-8, McDaniel 3-5, Danny Harvey 1-0.
Receiving: Havelock – Micheal Bowman 7-68 yards (TD), Boykin 1-12, Kyran Bowman 1-10, Woods 1-4. West Craven – Brown 3-59, Green 4-39, McDaniel 4-35, Harvey 1-6, Derek Adams 106 (TD).
Jordan Honeycutt is a reporter for the Sun Journal.