Coastal 3A News
DHC 55 Aycock 30
October 22, 2013D H Conley High School
On a night when D.H. Conley’s football team coughed up four fumbles and lost one of its top running backs to injury, its special teams more than made up for it.
The Vikings broke off two kickoff returns for scores and a punt return that nearly went the distance to help spark a 55-30 victory over C.B. Aycock despite some uncharacteristic sloppy play at times.
Conley (7-1, 3-0 Eastern Carolina 3-A/4-A Conference) amassed more than 370 yards on the ground, overcoming the loss of running back Johnathan Shrock to a first quarter ankle injury.
DHC coach Brian Paschal noted after the game that Shrock would be reevaluated in the coming days.
“Scoring that many points was fun and our special teams played great, obviously,” Paschal said. “That was the best performance I’ve ever seen in special teams, so I thought we were awesome that way. But we have a long way to go to be competitive with some of the top teams in our conference.”
Jakeel Andrews got Conley’s return game rolling with an 82-yard dash to paydirt late in the second quarter, extending the Vikings’ lead to 21-7 with 1 minute, 56 seconds remaining until halftime.
After forcing Aycock (4-5, 1-3) into a quick three-and-out, Bam Staton returned the ensuing punt 47 yards, setting up Matt Simpson’s 5-yard scoring plunge on the following play to make it 28-7.
Simpson’s score capped a 14-0 Conley run in just 1:07 that turned a seven-point nail-biting lead into a sizeable three-touchdown advantage.
In just his second game back following a year-long suspension, Maleek Gorham tallied three touchdowns on the night, including rushing scores of 15 and 5, and an electric 81-yard kick return.
Myles Taylor rushed for 122 yards and a touchdown while also coming up with two of the Vikings’ five sacks on defense.
Simpson — filling in for Shrock at fullback — finished with 82 yards on 16 carries.
The Golden Falcons scored three times in the fourth quarter, and got 205 yards passing and a pair of touchdowns out of quarterback T.J. Morrow.
“We just didn’t play well or consistent all night long,” Paschal said. “Aycock played hard and they got after us, and we need to respond better next time. But it was another big win for our team.”
Staton’s 15-yard touchdown capped a successful first drive for the Vikings, and opened the game’s scoring.
Gorham then dazzled with a 15-yard scoring scamper of his own in the second quarter to give Conley an early 14-0 advantage.
— Stephen Igoe