If Matt Boykin was a little bit taller, he'd have major Division I colleges beating down his door.
Listed at 5-foot-5, the Havelock junior uses his elusiveness and speed to burn the opposition.
Boykin, who runs the 40-yard dash in 4.43 seconds, ran for a pair of touchdowns as the Rams rolled to a 31-13 victory over Craven County rival New Bern in a showdown of defending state champions at Caruso-Coates Stadium on Friday.
Havelock coach Jim Bob Bryant, and his football players, arrived in New Bern later than usual after warming up on its own turf.
“We told them tonight, coming into the game, we didn't want to worry about the rivalry between New Bern and Havelock,” Bryant said. “We didn't talk about revenge. We just talked about Havelock. We wanted this week to be all about Havelock.”
The Rams avenged last year's 34-33 home loss to New Bern, and handed the Bears their first consecutive home losses since 2000. The Bears lost to Durham Hillside, 27-24, on Aug. 23.
Boykin's 49-yard touchdown run on third down gave the Rams their first score early in the second quarter, and they raced away to their third win over New Bern in the past five years.
“(Boykin) is a kid that nobody really knows about but anybody who watched him play JV football last year knows about him,” Bryant said. “He is dangerous. He gives us another explosive threat. He is a great football player, a great kid, he loves playing football and has never missed a practice.”
Boykin exploded into New Bern's secondary and was off to the races to put Havelock up 7-0 in the second quarter.
New Bern quarterback Michael Hughes followed with a 4-yard touchdown run moments later. The extra point was missed.
The Rams took a 13-6 advantage at halftime after quarterback Travis Sabdo found Jordan Cuthbertson for an 11-yard scoring play with a minute until halftime.
Havelock pulled away late in the third. Sabdo hit Jordan Begley with a 20-yard touchdown score and Boykin ran in the end zone on a 5-yard run.
Dylan Baker added a 22-yard field goal early in the fourth, lifting the Rams to a 31-6 advantage.
Rasheed McCoy recovered a fumble and ran it back 31 yards for a Bears' touchdown.
“We played a good team and we came out flat,” said New Bern coach Bobby Curlings. “Mentally, we were not prepared. I thought we gave a much better effort last week.
“We have to do some soul searching, especially on offense. We have to find out who really wants to play because we saw some going through the motions tonight.”
For the second consecutive game, Sabdo, making his second varsity start at quarterback, didn't throw an interception.He completed 8-of-16 passes for 172 yards.
“I tell my quarterbacks that I don't want any turnovers or sacks,” Bryant said. “He didn't take a sack, he got rid of the ball, he managed the offense very well and hit wide open receivers.”
Rams' running back Derrell Scott didn't find the end zone, yet he still ran for 119 yards on 23 carries. Havelock gained 234 rushing yards, and 406 total yards on offense, a week after struggling against Washington in its opener.
The defense forced New Bern to turn the ball over six times (five fumbles, one interception). Keon Frazier snagged an interception in the fourth quarter.
Hughes passed for 159 yards, but had only two in the second half. DeAuntae Grimes caught nine passes for 97 yards, while Cody Purdie ran for 73 yards on 10 carries.
New Bern (0-2) travels to West Craven next Friday, while Havelock (2-0) hosts Jones Senior.
Havelock 0 13 6 3 - 31
New Bern 0 6 7 7 – 13
H – Matt Boykin 49 run (Dylan Baker kick), 11:40
NB – Michael Hughes 4 run (kick miss), 3:07
H – Jordan Cuthbertson 11 pass from Travis Sabdo (kick missed), 1:03
H – Jordan Begley 20 pass from Sabdo (Baker kick), 2:56
H – Boykin 5 run (Julian Mobley to B.J. Boyd), 1:24
H – Dylan Baker 22 field goal, 9:06
NB – Rasheed McCoy 31 fumble return (Josh Htoo kick), 5:14
First Downs 15 12
Rushes – Yards 42-234 31-99
Passing Yards 172 159
Comp-Att-Int 8-16-0 14-25-1
Total yards 406 258
Penalties – Yards 5-45 5-45
Fumbles – Lost 2-2 4-4
Punts – Avg. 4-31.0 6-37
Passing: Havelock: Travis Sabdo 8-16-0 172. New Bern: Michael Hughes 14-25-1 159.
Rushing:Havelock: Derrell Scott 23-119, Matt Boykin 5-72, Taylor Woods 8-48, Dante Stackhouse 3-(-1), Jordan Begley 1-1, Travis Sabdo 2 (-5). New Bern: Cody Purdie 10-73, DeAuntae Grimes 7-10, Hughes 10-3, Khalil Simpson 3-9, Craig Stokes 1-4.
Receiving:Havelock: Michael Bowman 2-69, Begley 2-58, Jordan Cuthbertson 2-38, Woods 1-7, Boykin 1-0. New Bern: Grimes 9-97, Purdie 1-31, Simpson 2-16, LeaAuntae Grimes 1-6, Diondre Poole 1-9.