Havelock’s Pharoh Cooper is sure of one thing: He’s glad he doesn’t have to play against he’s own offensive line on Friday nights.
“I’d have to be more physical and get tougher,” he said.
Cooper ran for three touchdowns and threw for another – all before halftime – as Havelock rolled over South Central 41-7 Friday at Havelock High.
For the second week in a row, Havelock’s offensive front dominated the line of scrimmage. Havelock scored 41 points and never had to punt in the first half. In last week’s 34-7 victory over Washington, the Rams didn’t punt in the entire game.
“As long as we do our job, we put our skill players in position to make plays,” said Havelock senior Donnie Richards, a starting tackle on the offensive line. “That’s our job. That helps us win games, and that’s what were there to do.”
Richards, Kendall Vickers, Tim Hamrick, Martez Morris and Michael Howard cleared the way for Havelock’s backs to run for 244 yards on the night. Cooper led the way with 12 carries for 116 yards, while Derrell Scott contributed 75 yards on eight carries and two touchdowns.
“Not everyone is going to get a chance to play with a Derrell Scott or a Pharoh Cooper or a Taylor Woods,” Richards said. “Sometimes they might even make up for a mistake the offensive line might make, so they tend to make us look better sometimes.”
If there were mistakes against South Central, they were hardly noticeable.
The Rams scored on their first possession on Cooper’s 10-yard touchdown. The first of Dylan Baker’s five extra points put Havelock on top 7-0 just 2 1/2 minutes into the game.
“The line does a great job,” Cooper said. “Coach (Pat) Whitford and the offensive line coaches prepare them well every week, and they go hard every day in practice. We thank the line every day.”
On Havelock’s second possession, Cooper kept the ball on the option and went 48 yards for a touchdown.
“It was just a read option play,” Cooper said. “I read the end, and he came up field, so I just ran up field, got some good blocks from some of the outside receivers and just hit the seam and ran.”
Scott had a 46-yard touchdown run, and Cooper added a 3-yarder on the second play of the second quarter, putting the Rams up 28-0.
“I think we played great. It was a good team win,” Havelock coach Jim Bob Bryant said. “I think we’re clicking on all cylinders on offense, and our defense I think gave up just two first downs in the first half. I thought we played well all the way around.”
Havelock’s defense gave up just 45 yards rushing in the game to the Falcons, who averaged just 1.7 yards per rush attempt. South Central totaled just 155 yards for the game. Havelock got sacks from Malcom Ashley, Woods and Maurice Harris, along with interceptions by Julian Cutherbertson and Joey Godette.
Godette’s interception set up Scott’s 1-yard touchdown run midway through the second quarter. Cooper, who was 9 of 14 through the air for 118 yards, connected with C.J. Lindsey on a 45-yard touchdown pass with 2:16 left in the first half for a 41-0 Havelock lead.
“It was consistency and finishing,” Cooper said of the team’s performance. “We didn’t have to punt the whole first half, so everything worked out well.”
South Central (2-5, 1-3) got a 10-yard touchdown run from Shawn Furlow in the third quarter, as Havelock began making substitutions throughout much of the second half.
With the victory, the Rams control their own destiny in the race for the Coastal 3A Conference championship, improving to 7-1 overall and 4-0 in the league.
“I thought our line did a great job blocking and picking up their different fronts they were giving us,” said Bryant, whose team totaled 362 yards. “Our entire coaching staff does a good job getting those kids prepared.”
Havelock next plays Jacksonville for homecoming at 7 p.m. Friday at Havelock High.