Wilson Fike routs Gryphons for first series win since 2001
October 17, 2011Rocky Mount High School
By Jimmy Lewis, Wilson Times
WILSON - The foe’s turnovers and points continued to pile up for the Fike High varsity football team on Friday night and, in the process, the Demons finally turned the tables on an old nemesis.
Fike jumped out to a 14-0 lead with 8:06 remaining in the first quarter and used opportunistic special teams play to post two TDs in a six-second span in the second half en route to a 63-14 demolition of 3-A Big East Conference foe Rocky Mount.
With the win — the first against Rocky Mount since 2001 — the Demons vaulted to 3-5 overall and 2-1 in conference play.
Rocky Mount dropped its fourth consecutive contest, plummeting to 3-4-1 overall and winless in three Big East outings.
On a Fike homecoming evening where a decade-long streak was seemingly destined to fall, the Demons’ special teams unit struck early and often,
After the Fike defense forced Rocky Mount into a three-and-out on its first series, Gryphon punter James Smith dropped the snap around his 15-yard line. Junior Shane Tripp arrived on the scene to finish the play, allowing the Demons to begin their first drive 16 yards from the goal line.
Using an up-tempo approach, Fike only needed three plays to cash in, as senior quarterback Cam Avery bulled into the end zone from 2 yards away for a 6-0 edge.
Junior kicker Drayton Williams, who converted all seven extra-point attempts, added the extra point.
Opportunity struck again for the Demons on the ensuing kickoff, as Williams angled a sky kick towards the Fike sideline. The ball meandered away from a Rocky Mount returner and Fike’s Devonte Dickens pounced on it at the Rocky Mount 36.
Avery took advantage, tossing the first of his two touchdown passes, a 19-yard strike to senior wide receiver Danzell Liles.
Liles outmanuevered Rocky Mount’s Rodiero Shambley along the sideline for the catch.
Rocky Mount junior running back Mason Hines entered play as the leading rusher in Big East play and compiled gaudy numbers, rambling for 217 yards on 25 carries, including a 56-yard burst that trimmed the Fike lead to 14-7.
However, Hines’ scoring impact was contained to a single TD.
Although flashbacks of previous Fike implosions emerged when the Demons marched the ball to the Gryphons’ 22-yard line in the second quarter, the Demons quickly recovered.
Avery’s intended option pitch scurried to the turf, allowing Rocky Mount’s Michael Westry to scoop it and run 75 yards to tie the contest at 14-14 with 7:32 left until halftime.
But Rocky Mount proved unable to stop a determined Fike offensive line and the running back tandem of Alex Ruffin and Robert Blackston. Blackston rumbled for a 22-yard TD to give Fike a 21-14 lead; then Avery patiently waited for a running lane to develop on his way to an 11-yard scamper late in the first half. Williams’ PAT sent Fike to its 28-14 halftime edge.
The Gryphons quickly imploded in the second half.
Fike took the second-half kickoff and executed the option to perfection, as Avery flipped to Ruffin on his way to a 72-yard score down the visiting sideline.
The Demons led 35-14, but the hammer came on the ensuing kickoff.
Williams kicked off to the corner, but Westry was unable to field the kick at his 5-yard line. The ball squirted out of his hands and Fike’s Shakka Blackston arrived to recover the ball for what he — and his teammates — thought was a touchdown.
However, since the kicking team cannot advance a recovery, the ball was ruled down at the 1-yard line, where Avery hammered into the end zone to give the Demons two TDs in a six-second span for a 42-14 lead.
Rocky Mount played three different quarterbacks, and all struggled with ball security. The Gryphons lost three of six fumbles.
Fike further went for the jugular in the second half after a Tyler Newman interception, giving Avery the green light to collaborate with senior wide receiver Josh King for a 36-yard TD.
Ruffin and Robert Blackston departed in the fourth quarter, allowing Jorelle Farmer and Shakka Blackston ample time to find the goal line. Farmer scored from 8 yards out with eight minutes remaining, while Shakka Blackston used a one-cut run to score from 17 yards away and provide Fike’s final margin.
Ruffin finished with 175 yards on 14 carries and two TDs, while Robert Blackston had seven carries for 47 yards. Avery accounted for five touchdowns — three by land and two via the air.
In the waning seconds, the Fike student section began cries of “We want Hunt!,” possibly foreshadowing a showdown in two weeks for the conference title inside Buddy Bedgood Stadium.
However, for that high-stakes game to become a reality, the Demons must first navigate past Northern Nash in Death Valley next week.