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August 31, 2013NEW BERN - In a hard hitting football game that displayed Division 1 college football talent all over the field, it was Havelock's Matt Boykin, a 5'5" 145-pounder that sparked the Rams to victory.
In the first quarter, both teams started out with missed opportunities with each team exchanging body blows. New Bern quarterback Mike Hughes delivered a perfect 50-yard pass to wide receiver Theron Noble down the right sideline. Noble had separation from the defender only to have the ball fall just off his fingertips missing a sure TD. For the Rams, Boykin broke free on the Rams' next possession for an electrifying 75-yard touchdown jaunt down the right sideline only to have it called back on a holding penalty. So the first quarter ended scoreless with each team getting 3 1st downs and having a turnover a piece.
The second quarter would see both offenses begin to operate and convert their chances. On the second play of the quarter, Boykin would use his cat-like quickness to break into the secondary as he would make several Bear defenders miss and sprint into the end zone for a 49-yard touchdown run with 11:40 left in the second quarter. The extra point was good to make the score 7-0 Rams.
Hughes, New Bern's "do everything QB" would then begin to assert himself leading the Bear offense on a lengthy drive down the field. He would complete an impressive 9 of 10 passes for 117 yards in the quarter. He hooked up mostly with wide receiver Duaunte Grimes, who would catch 5 passes for 69 yards in the quarter.
With 3:07 left in until the half, Hughes scored on a 6-yard run. The extra point was failed, so the Rams would maintain a 7-6 lead.
Havelock quarterback Travis Sabdo would waste no time getting the Rams back into scoring position. Sabdo connected with highly regarded Ram wideout Michael Bowman for a 38-yard strike into Bear territory. Bowman would come up limping after the play and not catch another ball in the game, but still finished with 2 catches for 63yds.
The Bear defense would stiffen and force Havelock into a 4th and 12 from the 35 yard line. Ram Head Coach Jim Bob Bryant decided to go and it would pay off huge. Sabdo would connect with a wide open Jordan Cuthbertson for a 27 yard gain and set up 1st and goal from the 7.
All-state running back Derelle Scott would take the ball in for an apparent touchdown on the next play only to have it called back on a holding penalty. It would be the second Ram touchdown nullified by penalty in the half. The Rams would overcome the penalty however as Sabdo would connect with Cuthbertson again for an 11 yard touchdown strike with 1:03 left in the half. The extra point was blocked so the Bears stayed within a touchdown at 13-7 at the half.
The Bears will want to forget this third quarter as their 5 possessions would result in 3 punts, a fumble, and an interception. They would have 5 turnovers for the game with 4 in the second half. Havelock's defense played well all night as they were able to contain Hughes from rushing the football and making big plays with his legs in the passing game. The Ram defense "slow rushed" Hughes all night keeping him in the pocket and forcing him to throw the football. Hughes would finish the night rushing only 5 times for 26 yards and a score.
The second half was all Havelock with the Ram defense playing "lights out" as Coach Bryant would describe it. Boykin would electrify the crowd once more taking a New Bern punt back 40 yards to set up the Ram offense in great field position. The Rams would eventually get 1st and goal.
New Bern despite not being able to do anything on offense managed to stay in the game with a key goaline stand on the drive. The Bears were pinned on their own 2 yard line unable to move and was forced to punt after another 3 and out.
From that point in the game, Havelock would control field position. The Rams would take the ball on their own 32 yard line. Behind the running of Scott, the Rams were able to get down to the 5 yard line. Boykin would score his second touchdown of the game on a 5-yard run. The extra point was good and gave the Rams a 20-6 lead with 2:56 left in the third quarter.
Scott was able to make his presence felt in the third quarter as the highly prized prospect ran 9 times for 58 yards.
The next Bear possession would see Hughes throw an ill advised pass right into the hands of 6'3" 190lb linebacker Keion Joyner. The sophomore would return the interception inside the 30 yd line.
The interception set up the Ram offense in great field position to go to work. Sabdo would play action to Scott and connect with Jordon Begley for a 20 yard touchdown pass and the rout is on. After a fake extra point, the 2-point conversion gave the Rams a 28-6 with 1:25 left in the third.
In the final quarter, the Rams would put another 3 points on the board with 9:06 left in the game with a 22-yard field goal to make it 31-6.
Havelock would sub heavy in the quarter and backup quarterback Begley would fumble on his first possession. New Bern defender Rasheed McCoy would scoop up the fumble and score from 25 yards out. The Bears' extra point was good and that would conclude the scoring on the night as Havelock would finish on top 31-13.
Boykin was the player of the game for the Rams as he simply made every big play. He would run the ball only 4 times for 73 yards with 2 scores (had a 75-yarder nullified) and combine that with the 40-yard punt return. He accounted for 113 yards on 5 touches and he also excelled on defense as hew was a finger tip away from a pick 6 on defense. Sabdo completed 9 of 17 passes for 180 yards with 2 touchdowns. Scott finished with 22 carries for 84 yards.
It should be noted that the Havelock defense held New Bern to just 65 total yards in the second half and forced 4 turnovers. After Joyner's performance tonight, he looks like he should emerge as the next great prospect out of Havelock.
New Bern would finish the night with 5 turnovers to only 2 for the Rams. New Bern falls to 0-2 in what has to be a disappointing start for the defending state champs. Hughes finished with 17 completed of 27 passes for 168 yards. Grimes caught 10 passes for 92 yards.
With this win and a tough win last week versus a good Washington Pam Pack team, Havelock (2-0) looks to make another run at a State Championship. Havelock's current win streak is at 16 games and with one more will tie the school record. They will try to tie that record as they host Jones Senior next week.
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