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Lamar too much for Knights, 33-7

Posted: September 10, 2018 3:16 p.m.
Updated: September 11, 2018 1:00 a.m.

Tyronne Drakeford had seen this movie before and neither time did the North Central head football coach enjoy what he watched.

After playing Lamar, the state’s top-ranked class A team, to a scoreless draw for one quarter, an NC turnover led to a 19-point second quarter as the Silver Foxes handed the visiting Knights a 33-7 loss Friday night.

The setback evened NC’s record at 2-2. Due to complications from Hurricane Florence, Friday night’s home game with Andrew Jackson has been moved to Thursday in Boonetown.

As for the loss to Lamar, Drakeford said it was eerily similar to his team’s loss to Camden in week zero.

 “I think it was more what we did not do. Especially after watching the film, we did not protect well up front,” he said of Lamar’s second quarter surge. “I felt (our) defense played extremely well, except for a couple plays here and there. When you create turnovers and stop a good team like we did defensively, we have to find a way to put the ball in the end zone, especially when we get the ball on our side of the field.”

“We left too much on the table. It was very similar to the Camden game where we were in position to get some scores but we didn’t get anything.”

The hosts started the scoring when Malik Johnson picked off an NC pass and returned it for a pick six in the opening 25 seconds of the second quarter. Jacquez Lucas then broke free on a 78-yard scoring run with 4:57 left in the half before Cam Galloway scored on a one-yard carry with 98 ticks left in the first half clock as the Silver Foxes carried a 19-0 lead into intermission after an opening 24 minutes in which the visitors were held without a first down.

“I think our guys lost confidence because we were not able to move the ball,” Drakeford said. “That put a lot of pressure on our defense to make plays and try to create turnovers but, it just did not happen.”

Lucas scored on a 10-yard third quarter carry and added a 15-yard scoring run in the opening two minutes of the fourth quarter to pad the cushion to 33-0.

The Knights averted a shutout when Esteban Rodriguez scored on a 20-yard pass from Austin Bowers with 6:21 left in the game with Hunter Haven tacking on the PAT kick.

“I thought our defense played extremely well. We bottled them up in the first half and, even in the second half. The final score doesn’t indicate how well we played defensively,” Drakeford said. “We had a few good runs from our backs but, as far as overall play, we just didn’t get anything going, especially in the first half.”

The Knights had 152 yards in offense with Bowers completing 11 of his 20 passes for 102 yards and a touchdown with Markell Portee catching three passes for 25 yards.

The NC ground game rushed for 50 yards with Jamel Jones having 20 of those coming on five carries. He also caught three passes for 38 yards.

Drakeford said one of the positive things which came out of this game was that the mistakes which the Knights on offense made are correctable and would be addressed in a short week of practice. Defensively, NC needs to put together four full quarters.

“We can’t be a good defense if we play good most of the time but, find a way to give up a big play that can turn the game around,” Drakeford said. “We have to be lights out all four quarters. I think we can do that if guys play their responsibilities and not try to do too much.”

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