By Bob Sutton
Special to The Alamance News
Graham was unable to build on the momentum after securing its first victory of the season last week.
Bartlett Yancey had quite a bit to do with that.
The Buccaneers stifled the penalty-plagued Red Devils in a 38-6 decision in Friday night’s Mid-Carolina Conference opener.
“You control your own narrative, and we did not,” first-year Graham coach Bobby Houston Jr. said.
The Red Devils (1-4) had racked up 54 points the previous week in defeating Wake Christian.
There were few signs of that type of performance in their next game.
“We just didn’t have everybody on track,” senior receiver Elijah Summers said. “A very big difference (from the previous game).”
For Houston, a former North Carolina State and NFL player, these types of ebbs and flows aren’t catching him off guard. The Red Devils have fewer than 30 players and that gives them little room for missteps.
“It’s absolutely a process,” Houston said. “Honestly, it’s what I expected when you have to weed some things out. … It’s a program that has to be built from the ground. We have to get everybody buying in.”
The Red Devils never found a good groove in the Bartlett Yancey game. Penalty problems contributed heavily to that.
“In the first half, I asked them ‘Why does everybody look like they’re moving in slow motion?, ” Houston said.
After a couple of encouraging outings, this seemed like a step back to Houston. Summers said that doesn’t have to become a trend.
“All we can do is change it for the next game,” he said.
Maurice Thomas scored four touchdowns, racking up 160 receiving yards, for Bartlett Yancey (4-1). That included a 97-yard catch-and-run just after Graham’s only first-half threat was thwarted by Bartlett Yancey’s goal-line stand.
Thomas opened the scoring with a 23-yard reception from Will Modlin. His second touchdown came on the last play of the first quarter on a 9-yard run.
The Buccaneers added to a 22-0 halftime lead when Jaylen Neal returned an interception 61 yards for a touchdown.
Graham finally scored on a possession set up by Alex Godley’s interception. Quarterback Carlos Quintinella hit Summers with a 19-yard scoring pass with 7:33 remaining.
Thomas tacked on a 21-yard reception from Modlin for the final touchdown.
Cavaliers put on hold as Chatham Central deals with health issue
The Cummings football team had an unexpected night off when its scheduled Mid-Carolina Conference opener was called off because of health issues affecting the Chatham Central team.
Cummings coach David Grimm said he was notified earlier Friday that the road game that night wouldn’t take place.
“It was tough,” Grimm said. “I’m in the middle of teaching class and my AD sends a message to call immediately.”
Members of the Chatham Central team have come down with MRSA, a contagious type of bacteria that spreads by contact.
The Cavaliers (2-1) had an open date the week before, so they’ll have had three weeks between games when Southern Alamance (2-2) arrives for next Friday night’s non-conference game.
“We were ready to go,” Grimm said. “It’s an uncontrollable situation.”
Grimm said he’s uncertain if the game will be made up, though usually all efforts are explored regarding conference games. First, the Chatham Central team needs to be cleared to return to action.
Cummings is slated to play every Friday night for the rest of the regular season. Chatham Central (0-4) doesn’t have a game scheduled for Oct. 21.
Grimm said he opted not to hold practice after school Friday because he figured his players were frustrated and didn’t think a workout session would accomplish much.
“All we’ve been doing is practicing,” he said of the time between games.
Friday night’s scores
Bartlett Yancey 38, Graham 6
Williams 57, Northwood 7
Western Alamance 38, Orange 3
Eastern Guilford 14, Northeast Guilford 6
Eastern Alamance and Southern Alamance were off