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Defense key in Williams 21-10 victory over in-county rival Western; PLUS big wins for other county teams


‘Bragging rights’ go to Williams – for third meeting in a row;

Roundup: Eastern, Southern, Cummings and Graham win big

By Bob Sutton

Special to The Alamance News

Locked in another tight game heading down the stretch, members of the Williams defense realized there was little room for a slip-up against Western Alamance.

So the Bulldogs kept doing what had worked most of the game.

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“Just team defense, absolutely,” Williams defensive end Coleman Mahan said. “That was the best thing about it. We had guys knocking balls down, guys making sacks. They all came together very nicely.”

Defensive End Coleman Mahan

The Bulldogs made enough of those plays to secure a 21-10 victory Friday night at Burlington Memorial Stadium.

On offense, the Bulldogs (5-3 overall, 3-1 Central Carolina 3-A Conference) converted on four key fourth downs, including one on each of their touchdown drives.

The Williams defense came up big time and time again.

“We all came to the ball as well,” said defensive lineman Aaron Mancle, who spent time in the Western offensive backfield and collected a couple of sacks. “It was fun. I didn’t know what celebration to do.”

Defensive Lineman Aaron Mancle

The Warriors (3-4, 2-2) managed 116 passing yards and 100 yards on the ground.

“Western runs a battery of formations,” Williams coach Patrick Stokes said. “They came out and the first drive showed a couple of formations we hadn’t seen in the past few weeks. The defense, on the fly, adjusted and made plays.”

Williams head football coach Patrick Stokes

Much of that began along the line of scrimmage.

“It’s a credit to our front line,” Bulldogs linebacker Jordan Harless said. “They did that work and we were able to make plays.”

Williams displayed clutch tendencies on offense.

On the game’s first drive, the Bulldogs picked up a fourth-and-1 on Milton Turner’s 3-yard run before Dan Mahan turned Jaelan Brown’s short pass into a 15-yard yard touchdown play.

“I’ve got a lot of confidence in our offensive line,” Stokes said of decisions. “We prepare ourselves for a fourth-down mentality.”

Western got on the board on Jacob Carter’s 26-yard field goal on the final play of the first half.

Following a Western fumble deep in Williams territory, the Bulldogs kept momentum. Kylei Richmond’s 8-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-4 capped an 89-yard march.

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The Warriors responded, scoring on James Newton’s 26-yard catch-and-run from Evan Kuehnel with 3:06 to play in the third quarter.

Following a Western punt, Williams chewed up about seven minutes. Brown connected with Turner for a 21-yard gain on fourth-and-10 at the Western 29. Shortly after, Turner was in the end zone on a 1-yard run.

After Caleb Fogleman’s interception, the Bulldogs added another fourth-down conversion that allowed them to keep possession for the rest of the game.

“They’ve got enough athletes that at some point they’re going to bust through,” Western coach Jeff Snuffer said of the disappointments of not getting fourth-down stops.

After a string of tough-luck defeats, the Bulldogs cranked out their preferred result.

“We were coming down to the wire again,” Harless said. “This week, we stepped up,”

The Bulldogs have defeated Western in the last three meetings after the Warriors held a 17-game win streak in the series.

For the Warriors, it wasn’t totally demoralizing because they gave themselves chances.

“I saw the battle in their eyes,” Snuffer said.

Brown was 13-for-20 for 159 yards in the air. Turner had four catches for 86 yards. Richmond posted 106 rushing yards on 14 carries.

Kuehnel was 14-for-20 for 116 yards. Newton finished with 54 receiving yards on five catches and another 26 yards on a pair of carries. Western running back Kevion Hudson gained 53 yards on 13 carries.

Roundup: Eastern, Southern, Cummings and Graham win big

Eastern Alamance 63, Cedar Ridge 0: At Hillsborough, Josh Murray scored on two touchdown runs as the visiting Eagles (6-1, 3-0 Central Carolina 3-A Conference) cruised.

Eastern Running Back Josh Murray scored two touchdowns in 63-0 win over Cedar Ridge. (Photo from after last week’s win over Williams.)

Eastern’s Matthew Monroe blocked a punt and Payton Wright picked up the ball and scored.

Jason Ball had a touchdown pass to Dalton Helton. Tyrek Samuel, Elijah Breeze and Zaphaniah Gattis scored on touchdown runs.

Cedar Ridge is 1-5, 0-3.

Southern Alamance 53, Northern Durham 6: At Mt. Hermon, Stanley Eno set the tone with a 72-yard return for a touchdown on the game’s opening kick-off.

Stanley Eno (pictured from an earlier game at Southern) who ran 72 yards for a touchdown on the opening kick-off and scored twice more during the game.

That production was a thing to come for the host Patriots (5-2, 2-0 DAC-VII Conference), who gained 269 yards on the ground and were 5-for-5 on passing plays.

Eno scored three touchdowns, Jackson Parrish scored on a pair of runs and running back Logan Foust threw for a touchdown and caught a touchdown pass. Foust and quarterback Bradley Capps both ran for two two-point conversions.

Southern led 30-0 at halftime, with Parrish posting a 6-yard touchdown run, Eno reaching the end zone on a 47-yard run and Foust throwing a 54-yard pass to Eno.

The Patriots opened the second-half scoring on Capps’ 22-yard pass to Foust. Parrish added a 20-yard run and Drake Davis scored from 3 yards yard.

Parrish gained 82 yards on 12 carries and Eno had 62 yards on four attempts. Capps was 4-for-4 passing for 80 yards.

Northern Durham (2-5, 0-2) had 193 yards of total offense.

Cummings 64, Jordan-Matthews 0: Cummings (4-2, 2-0 Mid-Carolina Conference) has won consecutive games for the first time this season. The host Cavaliers built a 50-0 halftime lead.

Jonathan Paylor caught two touchdown passes, while Khavarie Hightower and Isaiah Long each had one touchdown reception.

Johnniyus Sharpe ran for two touchdowns. Marione Enoch and Devin Graves both scored on runs.

Jordan-Matthews is 0-8, 0-4.

Graham 24, Chatham Central 0: At Bear Creek, all the scoring came in the second half as visiting Graham (3-4, 2-1 Mid-Carolina Conference) won for the third time in its last four games.

Gabe Spriggs and Keonte Haywood ran for touchdowns and Elijah Summers caught a touchdown pass. Spriggs also was credited with 15 tackles.

Chatham Central (1-6, 1-2) was shut out for the fourth time this season.

[See video interviews with two of the key defensive players for Williams, Defensive Lineman Aaron Mancle and Defensive End Coleman Mahan.]

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