The Havelock Rams brought the pain to the Jacksonville Cardinals Friday night, winning by a final score of 41-6.
"It feels great for our seniors. We played with heart, and we played with passion," said Havelock head coach Jim Bob Bryant.
Corey Cooper led the way for the Rams, getting it done with both his arms and legs. He totaled 152 yards through the air and 114 on the ground.
Havelock struck early, on its third play from scrimmage, when Cooper hooked up with Khalil Barrett on a post route for a 51-yard touchdown.
The Rams slowed things down a bit on their next drive, possessing the football and marching down the field on a long sustained drive. After burning nearly five minutes off of the clock, Solomon Beligotti punched it from two yards out.
Havelock’s next possession had them at the Jacksonville 33 yard line. Two plays later, Cooper found Quinzel Lockhart in the back of the end zone, where Lockhart leapt over two Jacksonville defenders for a 21-yard touchdown reception.
The Cardinals, who only managed two first downs through the first half, and six punts, fumbled the ball on a pooch kick on the following kickoff. Havelock quickly capitalized, with Cooper airing out a 40-yard pass to Barrett for another score.
Havelock led Jacksonville 27-0 at the half.
"We've turned the page since the West Craven game. That was the old Havelock, this is the new Havelock. We'll take on anyone we face right now," said Bryant.
The Rams built on their lead early in the second half. On Havelock's first possession, Cooper ran for two big runs of 26 and 40 yards. Beligotti finished the drive with a touchdown run from seven yards out.
The Jacksonville offense found positive production on its opening drive of the second half. Quarterback Jaicari Boone completed three consecutive passes, and got a little help from a facemask call against the Rams to move into scoring position. Running back Kijeir Finnister darted up the middle of the field on an 18-yar run for the Cardinals’ only score of the night.
"We played hard," said Jacksonville head coach Beau Williams. "Havelock's a good team. They are what they are."
Montrece Gatling would wrap up the scoring for the Rams near the end of the third quarter, converting from 13 yards out on a play which he reversed the field and found the edge against the Jacksonville defense.
Havelock gave the ball to Justin Hoover for most of the fourth quarter. He carried the ball 17 times for 88 yards, and came away with an interception late in the fourth quarter.
"The only thing I can take out of this is we've played two of the better 3A teams the past two weeks. We'll fix the mistakes and get ready for playoffs," said Williams.
"We've got great senior leaders. It's a great class, and I am proud of them," said Bryant.
Havelock finishes the regular season at 10-1, awaiting playoff seeding. Jacksonville ends its regular season at 7-4.
Jacksonville 0 0 6 0 - 6
Havelock. 14 13 14 0 - 41
Passing: Jaicari Boone(5-10, 52 yds), Justyn Benton(0-1, 0yds, 1INT)
Rushing: Jaicari Boone(6-6), Rashaud Whittington(9-0), Kijeir Finnister(7-48, 1TD), Deondre Ritter(1-2), Justyn Benton (2-37)
Receiving: Chris Coleman(5-52)
Passing: Corey Cooper(10-17, 152 yds, 3TD)
Rushing: Corey Cooper(13-114), Montrece Gatling(12-87, 1TD), Solomon Beligotti(12-56, 2TD), Justin Hoover(17-88), Zach Sabdo(1-(15))
Receiving: Khalil Barrett(4-104, 2TD), Montrece Gatling(1-2), Quinzel Lockhart(3-38, 1TD),Christian Capps(1-(5)), Welton Spottsville(1-13)