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September 29, 2013GREENVILLE - The air needed to be cleared Friday night one way or the other. In a key conference match-up between county rivals D.H. Conley and J.H. Rose, the Vikings did just that by using a punishing and balanced running game that amassed 468 yards. The Vikings were able to control the Rampants 33-20.
The first quarter would be full of fireworks and not disappoint the largest crowd to watch a Viking football game in some time. After stopping Rose on its first possession, the Vikings would use a time consuming drive to score with 5:05 left in the quarter. Conley used a 3-headed attack of running backs consisting of Johnathan Shrock, Bam Staton, and Myles Taylor to move the ball steadily down the field. Shrock would do most of the damage on the first scoring drive and punch it in from 3 yards out. The PAT was blocked and it was 6-0 Vikings.
Rose wasted no time answering on their next drive. Behind the explosive running of Geoffrey Williams, who finished with 8 carries for 144 yards, the Rampants would strike for a touchdown. Williams beat the Viking defenders to the pilon from 16 yards out. The PAT was not good so the game was tied 6-6 with 4:20 left.
On the next series, the Viking offense would again pound the Rampant defense down the field with quick dives, traps and jet sweeps. Shrock and Staton would do most of the heavy damage. Taylor, who scored 3 touchdowns on the night, would finish off the scoring drive from 20 yards out with 2:09 left in the first. After the PAT conversion, Conley led 13-6.
As methodical as DH Conley was on offense the Rampants were just the opposite. Rose used big plays by Williams and RB Nick King to tie the score at 13-13, With 1:20 left in the first quarter, King carried the ball in to the end zone on a nice 35-yard run.
The Vikings thought that they had broken the tie as Matt Simpson would take the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for a score, but it was nullified by a holding call. The first quarter would end in a 13-13 tie in what appeared to be a Pitt County "donnybrook".
The Rose defense forced a Viking punt. On the punt, the Rampants would have a block-in-the-back penalty to nullify an 84-yard punt return touchdown. Both squads now had a special teams' score nullified by penalty.
With 8:54 left in the half, Rose seemed to have a nice drive working, but King fumbled the ball to halt a promising drive. Conley's next drive would turn over on downs coming up short by an inch in Rampant territory with 4:48 left in the half.
After a 3 and out by Rose, the Viking offense would again begin its relentless assault. On this drive, highly recruited DE prospect Kentavius Street was injured rushing the Viking passer in what appeared to be an ankle injury. Street never re-entered the game. The Vikings patiently moved the football down the field to the 3 yard line. With just 28 seconds left in the half, Shrock would power in from 3 yards out for his second touchdown of the night. The PAT was good and the Vikings would take the lead and more importantly the momentum into the half leading 20-13.
With the momentum on their side, Conley would come out the third quarter and dominate the football game. With a "perfect" drive, the Vikings would control the clock for over 6 minutes and would take a 27-13 lead on Taylor's 2-yard run. Coach Brian Paschal is one of the finest Wing-T coaches in the state of NC and this drive was textbook. He used all 3 backs to keep the Rampant defense off-balance. Conley's defense behind DT Omni House and LB Brenden McLean would be impressive as Rose couldn't mount much of an offensive attack in the third quarter only running 7 plays.
The Rampants would get a shot of life early in the fourth quarter with an interception. However, after a first down, Williams would fumble with 9:42 left in the game to end that Rose drive.
On the next Viking drive, Taylor would blow the game wide open with a 55-yard touchdown run to give the Vikings a 33-13 with 8:58 left in the game.
Rose would open up their air attack and close the gap to 33-20 with a hook-up from Khalil Smith to Marquise Braxton on a 40-yard touchdown pass. The Rampants would recover the onside kick, but on the second play from scrimmage Smith was intercepted by House on a screen pass. The Vikings would drain the clock and win the big battle between Pitt County schools.
Conley would have 3 players reach the 100-yard rushing mark. Taylor carried 12 times for 177 yards. Strock finished with 27 carries for 123 yards. Staton added 20 carries for 164 yards. Coach Paschal was very excited after the win and stated, "Our game plan played out perfectly. We know we have to play each week with the same execution."
Rose was led by Smith who completed 17 of 24 passes for 167 yards. Braxton caught 6 passes for 98 yards.
Conley (5-1) will be open during Week 7, while Rose (5-1) will host South Central.
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