By Charles Curcio, Sports Editor
Sunday, October 7, 2012 —
The one possession of the football in the second quarter of Friday night’s home game at R.N. Jeffery Stadium for the varsity football program of North Stanly was a typical drive for the Comets this season where the ground game and the efforts of freshman running back Antonio Williams were the mainstay.
However, after 17 rushing attempts on the night, his 18th was his last as he absorbed a hard hit from the Cuthbertson defense, knocking the football loose and forcing him to the sidelines the rest of the game as a precaution for a possible concussion in a 49-28 home loss for North Stanly.
Williams and the Comets (1-7, 1-3 RRC) started the game off in strong fashion, taking the opening kickoff and marching 73 yards down the field in seven plays for a touchdown. Williams dove across the goaline for the score and Andrew Gibson’s extra point gave North the early lead.
Cuthbertson scored on their first play from scrimmage when freshman quarterback Austin Kendall found Chris Duchateau on a seam route down the middle of the field for a 69-yard touchdown and a tie game.
After punting to the Cavs’ 23-yard line on their next possession, North Stanly’s Caleb Griffin recovered a fumble on a bad snap by Cuthbertson to set up North at the 19-yard line.
However, the defense of Cuthbertson (4-4, 3-1) came up with a huge momentum play when Williams fumbled the football and Jake Atkinson picked up the ball on the bounce and went 80 yards for a touchdown.
The Cavaliers went on to score five touchdowns in a row into the second quarter, including four first-half touchdown throws by Austin Kendall. The freshman finished the game with 351 yards passing and five touchdowns, both season highs for Cuthbertson.
Emmitt Afam caught three of Kendall’s touchdown passes and added a 95-yard kickoff return for a score to start the third quarter.
Gibson added a field goal on the Comets’ drive in the second quarter, two plays after Williams walked off the field under his own power. His status for next week’s game at home against Piedmont is not known as of press time.
The Comets pressed on without Williams and put two touchdowns on the board in the second half, including a 70-yard kickoff return for a score from Johnny Little.
North Stanly’s final touchdown came on a 17-play, 82-yard drive that took 10 minutes off of the clock, helped midway through with a running into the kicker call on the Cavaliers. Taahir Brunner finished the drive with a one-yard run off left tackle for the touchdown.
The Comets host Piedmont (3-5, 2-2 RRC) on Friday night. The Panthers are coming off a 42-6 win over Union Academy.