Beligotti scores two touchdowns in victory
HILLSBOROUGH | Havelock running back Solomon Beligotti only carried four times in the game but two of them were for second-half touchdowns as the Rams beat Orange 14-7 on Friday night in the second round of the 3-A state playoffs.
Orange (12-1) suffered its first and only loss of the season as Panthers’ coach Pat Moser coach his final game.
“I'm proud of the boys and they played good enough to possibly win,” Moser said. “We played a very good team. We knew it coming in. Their defensive line was probably the best we've seen all year.
“What happened was what I figured was going to happen. It was a low-scoring game with a lot of very good defense. The turnovers hurt us. But our kids played hard and they played well enough to win if they had a break go their way.”
Junior running back Marvante Beasley scored Orange's only touchdown on an 80-yard run late in the third quarter. He finished with 117 yards on 15 carries.
Orange had two chances in the final minute to tie the game.
The first ended after an incomplete pass on fourth down as the Panthers were driving to tie the game. Jackson Schmid’s attempt to Cody Evans fell incomplete in the end zone and Orange gave the ball over on downs with just over two minutes to go in the game.
Havelock wasn't able to run the clock out and had to punt with a minute left.
Orange’s second try ended with Schmid throwing his third interception of the game. He was trying to hit Payton Wilson for a touchdown but Jeffrey Harris swooped in and picked it off to spoil Orange's season. The Panthers had gotten into scoring position at the Havelock 28 after a 37-yard catch by Beasley. But then the on the next play came the game-ending interception.
All the scoring in the game came in the second half.
Havelock took its first possession of the second half 80 yards for a touchdown to go up 7-0. The Rams got the ball after forcing Orange to punt after a three-and-out to start the third quarter.
Havelock’s drive took 12 plays and they converted a key third down with a 13-yard pass from Cooper to Barrett. From there, Havelock moved the ball down the field efficiently. The big play on the drive was a 29-yard run to Orange’s four-yard line by Cameron Hutchinson, who led the Rams with 58 yards on 11 carries. Two plays later, Beligotti pounded his way into the end zone on a one-yard dive to make it 7-0.
Marvante Beasley broke off an 80-yard touchdown run that tied the game with 1:47 left in the third quarter.
Havelock got the game-winning touchdown with 5:25 left in the game. The Rams got the ball near midfield and took nine plays to score. Beligotti finished it with a punishing 14-yard run to make it 14-7.
“Solomon Beligotti is a heck of a football player,” Havelock coach Jim Bob Bryant said. “He's gotten thrown into the running back mix the last few weeks and he's been our power back. He's tough to bring down. That's what happened at the end of the game on the last touchdown.
The teams played a scoreless first half as both teams threatened but didn't score.
Going into the break, Moser said he was looking for any type of spark coming out of the locker room.
“We were looking for something to get rolling but Havelock was just good,” Moser said. “You just run up against teams now and then that are just good.
Havelock’s best drive of the first half got the Rams down to the Orange 11 before stalling. Havelock attempted a 27-yard field goal by Christian Hoomana but it was wide left and no good.
Orange had a pair of drives that came up short in the second quarter.
First, after holding on downs at their own 26, Orange marched back down the field before giving it back to the Rams at the Havelock 25. Beasley’s rush around the right side came up a yard short.
The other came after Havelock's missed field goal attempt.
The Panthers started at their 20 with 1:40 left in the half. Instead of running out the clock, Orange took to the air and also got helped by a defensive pass interference call on the Rams. On the play after the penalty, Schmid connected with Wilson for a 38-yard gain to the Havelock 25. But two plays later Schmid threw an interception over the middle that ended Orange's chance to score.
Orange had two turnovers in the first half, while the Rams committed one.
Havelock 14, Orange 7
Havelock 0 0 7 7—14
Orange 0 0 7 0— 7
H—Solomon Beligotti 1 run (Christian Hoomana kick), 4:32
O—Marvante Beasley 80 run (Francisco McKinley kick), 1:47
H—Beligotti 14 run (Hoomana kick), 5:25
RUSHING—Havelock: Cameron Hutchinson 11-58, Corey Cooper 22-57, Montrece Gatling 5-17, Solomon Beligotti 4-19. Orange: Marvante Beasley 15-117, Morgan Pashcal 2-4, Payton Wilson 9-26, Jackson Schmid 1-0, Ryan Puckett 3-6.
PASSING—Havelock: Cooper 13-20-150-1. Orange: Schmid 8-17-194-3.
RECEIVING—Havelock: Gatling 1-4, Khalil Barrett 2-28, Hutchinson 1-4, Welton Spostsville 3-18, Quinzel Lockhart 4-69, Christian Capps 2-27. Orange: Wilson 3-57, Paschal 1-22, Cody Evans 1-16, Kendall Whitted 1-21, Beasley 2-38.
Records—Havelock 12-1, Orange 12-1.