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Havelock quarterback Travis Sabdo completed just six passes against Anson County in Friday’s second-round playoff game.
But, oh what passes they were.
Sabdo threw four first-half touchdown passes – three to record-setting receiver Micheal Bowman – as the Rams rolled into the third round of the playoffs with a 53-14 victory over the Bearcats Friday at Havelock High.
“It was definitely a big numbers game for me,” said Sabdo, who completed all six of his pass attempts for 245 yards. “But, I have to give all the credit to the big boys up front. They work their tails off in practice all week. They do a great job picking up the different fronts that a defense throws at them. I couldn’t do it without those five up front.”
Sabdo was sacked once in the game, but Havelock coach Jim Bob Bryant joked that his junior quarterback simply didn’t want to throw the ball away and ruin his perfect 6-for-6 night.
“Travis had a great game,” Bryant said. “He did a great job. He took that one sack that I was a little upset about, but I guess he didn’t want to throw an incompletion. I think I’d rather have the incompletion, but he did a good job.”
Sabdo found Bowman on touchdown passes of 70, 42, and 66 yards – all in the first quarter – and Derrell Scott added a 34-yard touchdown run as the top-ranked and top-seeded Rams (13-0) raced to a 27-0 lead.
Bowman caught three passes for 177 yards, breaking the school’s single-game receiving yardage record of 168 yards by Titus Dailey against Pender in 1998.
“Mo’s a great athlete,” Sabdo said. “You look for him on the field on almost every play. Any defender, it’s basically a mismatch for him. He’s unbelievable. He’s got great hands. He’s a heck of an athlete and I love playing with him.”
Despite the lopsided first-quarter lead, the key may have been Havelock’s defense. After Scott muffed a punt, Anson (6-7) had the ball at the Ram 20-yard line. Keion Joyner had a big sack for the Rams, and then Joey Godette broke up a fourth-down pass attempt as the Bearcat drive stalled on the 15-yard line.
The Rams took over, and Sabdo’s 42-yard scoring pass to Bowman put Havelock ahead 14-0 with 5:41 left in the first.
“They had their backs against the wall and they kept them out of the end zone,” Bryant said of his defense. “They allowed us to get the ball back and score on the next drive. They did a great job.”
Anson got an 11-yard touchdown pass from J’Maine Harris to Deontez Threatt with 5:37 left in the first half, cutting the margin to 27-7.
But Havelock’s B.J. Boyd came up with an interception that led to a 25-yard touchdown run by Scott, and Sabdo added a 42-yard touchdown pass to Matt Boykin that gave the Rams a 40-7 lead at halftime.
Taylor Woods went 48 yards for a touchdown on Havelock’s first offensive play in the third quarter, and he later added a 7-yard scoring run as the Rams led 53-7 after the third quarter.
Anson’s Jekev Robinson scored from a yard out with two minutes left to complete the scoring. Robinson, Anson’s 1,000-yard rusher, was held to 60 yards on 26 carries. Anson totaled just 167 yards on the night and completed just two passes in the game.
Meanwhile, the balanced Rams also got 131 yards rushing on just 11 carries from Scott, as well as 86 yards from Woods and 42 from Boykin.
“Everyone did their job,” senior offensive line Michael Howard said. “Before the game, the coaches told us that everyone was talking about how the offensive line was our weakest link, so we all felt like we had to step up. Everyone was in sync, and we came out with a team win.”
Havelock is next scheduled to play North Forsyth, which defeated Jacksonville 59-20 in the second round. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday at Havelock High.
“We’ll celebrate but it will be short-lived because we’ve got to get ready for North Forsyth,” Bryant said of the 8-5 Vikings. “The Winston-Salem area has some really good football teams, and they play in a really tough conference, and they won their conference, so we’re going to have a tough opponent next week.”