Defense, balance prove keys to Havelock victory

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Havelock football coach Jim Bob Bryant tells his players they have one more game to win after the Rams beat Orange 42-7 to win the eastern regional championship on Friday. With the victory, the Rams advance to play Concord in the state championship game on Dec. 1.

Ken Buday/Havelock News
Published: Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 01:57 AM.

Both Havelock and Orange entered Friday’s eastern 3A regional championship game giving up just 10 points per game. In a battle of the best defenses, Havelock came out on top, clearly.

The Rams forced two turnovers, as Pharoh Cooper and Julian Cuthbertson each recovered fumbles. For Cooper, who plays safety, it was his first fumble recovery of the year.

“I don’t think I ever had one before,” said Cooper. “I know it’s my first one this year.”

Meanwhile, Havelock also recorded three sacks, two coming at a crucial time when Orange had driven to the Ram 30-yard line in the second quarter. Anthony Fisher and Kendall Vickers recorded sacks to end that Panthers scoring threat, and Fisher combined with Maurice Harris on another sack in the third quarter.

Havelock’s defense also held on fourth down in the first quarter when the Panthers were making a bid to take the lead. Also key was a tackle by Taylor Woods on Orange running back Jamal Pittman for a loss of 2 yards on a third-and-1 from at the 42-yard line in the third quarter.

In all, Orange totaled just 98 yards on 34 rushes for a 2.9-yard per carry average and totaled just 216 yards for the contest.

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