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Entering Friday’s game against the two-time defending 3A state champions from Havelock, the Kinston Vikings knew they’d have a tough time defeating the Rams.
They were right as Havelock scored on its first five possessions — and six of its first seven — on its way to a 37-0 win at Kinston in a nonconference game at Viking Field Friday night.
“There was nothing (about Havelock) we didn’t see on film,” Kinston first-year coach Ryan Gieselman said. “But we’ve got to be able to execute; to take it from practice to the classroom to the field.”
The Vikings (2-2) trailed 20-0 at the end of the first quarter, 30-0 at halftime and 37-0 only a little more than three minutes into the second half before Havelock head coach Jim Bob Bryant started playing his second string.
“We wanted to get some of our other guys some work in the second half,” Bryant said. “We have some really good JV guys and we wanted to get them some reps.”
The victory was especially significant for the Rams as it was their 18th straight win, breaking a school record set in 1972 and tied early last season.
Havelock senior running back Derrell Scott, one of the Southeast United States’ highest recruited players, lived up to his billing, scoring Havelock’s first three touchdowns in the first quarter and finishing with 142 yards rushing on 12 carries.
“He’s the real deal and a heck of a player,” Bryant said. “He’s a great kid, too. If you talk to him about the game, he won’t take any of the credit — he gives all the credit to God and to his teammates.”
The Rams, who host Jacksonville Northside (2-2) next week at Wilbur R. Sasser Field, finished with 474 yards of offense to only 106 for the Vikings (2-2). While Scott scored the Rams’ first three touchdowns, the other two were by the quarterback to receiver combination of juniors Travis Sabdo and Matthew Boykin who connected on scores of 13 and 33 yards. Senior Noah Kemble kicked a 25-yard field goal and connected on all four extra points he attempted.
Despite his team’s sheer dominance against the Vikings, Bryant found positives in Kinston’s game plan and coaching staff.
“They’ve got a good team,” Bryant said of the Vikings. “They’ve got good athletes and seem to have a good coaching staff. I think they’ll do really well once they get into their conference.”
Senior Tiquan Canady connected on five passes in 10 attempts for 66 yards, including a 58-yard hook-up to junior Marquan Harris in the first quarter. But the Vikings, who never entered the red zone during Friday’s contest, struggled offensively throughout the game, leading to nine punts by Evan Hood, including an impressive 70-yarder in the third quarter.
Despite the loss, Gieselman said his team impressed him Friday with its “never-quit mentality.”
“That’s going to take us a long way, too, especially since we have big games coming up against (Greenville) Rose and Washington,” he said. “It’s going to help us late in the year.”
NOTES: The win was Havelock’s third straight in the series with Kinston that stretches back to 1989. The Rams now lead the overall series 10-6. … Kinston’s last win in the series came in 2010 at Havelock, a 24-22 decision. … The Rams have won 24 straight games on the road; their last setback came, ironically, at Kinston on Sept. 18, 2009. … Kinston will face a familiar foe in Greenville J.H. Rose next week; the teams played every year from Kinston High School’s formation in 1970 until 2004 with only one cancellation — in 1999 due to Hurricane Floyd. … Kinston has lost the last 19 times it has faced Rose and has a 5-29 record against the Rampants. The last time the Vikings defeated Rose was on Oct. 19, 1984.
HAVELOCK 37, KINSTON 0
Havelock 20 10 7 0—37
Kinston 0 0 0 0—0
H — Derrell Scott 3 run (Noah Kemble kick), 9:26
H — Scott 7 run (Kemble kick), 6:26
H — Scott 12 run (run failed), 1:56
H — Kemble 25 field goal, 7:16
H — Matthew Boykin 13 pass from Travis Sabdo (Kemble kick), 4:23
H — Boykin 35 pass from Sabdo (Kemble kick), 8:55
First downs 24 5
Rushes-yards 42-301 23-22
Passing 12-22-0 8-24-2
Passing yards 173 84
Total yards 474 106
Fumbles-lost 3-2 1-0
Penalties 4-30 7-79
Punts-avg 1-37.0 9-30.0
RUSHING — H: Derrell Scott 12-142, Taron Wallace 6-90, Taylor Woods 8-51, Matthew Boykin 2-16, Dante Stackhouse 2-12, Jomel Stewart 4-7, Austin Ellington 2-1, Montrece Gatling 3-(minus-6), Travis Sabdo 3-(minus-12). K: Jeronte Davis 5-21, Tavon Herns 1-12, Raquise Bellamy 3-5, Ranell Sutton 1-3, Tiquan Canady 5-2, Jeremiah Fields 1-(minus-4), Raheem Freeland 6-(minus-8), Thomas Vermillion 1-(minus-9).
PASSING — H: Sabdo 11-17-0, 165; Jordan Begley 1-4-0, 8; Ellington 0-1-0, 0. K: Canady 5-10-66; Bellamy 3-13-2, 18; Vermillion 0-1-0, 0.
RECEIVING — H: Michael Bowman 6-74, Boykin 3-61, Kyran Bowman 1-25, Dallas Frazier 1-8, Woods 1-5. K: Marquan Harris 1-58, Anthony Berry 1-8, Anthony Pitts 3-6, Qwarri Ham 1-6, Freeland 1-5, Herns 1-1.
Bryan Hanks is the editor of the Kinston Free Press.