Balance tips scale against Pirates
Fri. September 20, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. | By Tom Grady | StarNews Correspondent | email@example.com
Jacksonville's Mario Jordan rushes past Topsail's Trae Blanton in Hampstead on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013. (Photo by Jason A. Frizzelle)
HAMPSTEAD | The Jacksonville High School football team never allowed home-standing Topsail to establish any sort of momentum or sustained drives Friday night.
And the Cardinals scored from all angles in rolling to a 35-0 win.
Tyshawn Siders set the tone for the second half and the game with a 77-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to start the third quarter. The result: a 21-0 lead.
After a subsequent Pirates punt, it took the Cardinals (4-1) only three plays to extend the lead to 28-0. Quarterback Exelman Adams hit Trevon Ellis for a 36-yard scoring strike.
"We had opportunities early and did not take advantage of them," Topsail coach Wayne Inman said. "When you're playing a team that has that much skill, they'll make you pay for it and they did."
Jacksonville wrapped up the scoring with a 13-yard burst up the middle by Adams on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Jermaine Linton paced the Cardinals rushing attack with 114 yards on eight carries. Topsail running backs Tyrekus Cooper and Wayland Batson did turn in some tough yardage on the ground. Cooper finished with 82 yards on 14 carries and Batson posted 50 yards on 14 carries.
"We're going to battle," Inman said. "We're going to try to get everybody healthy. We're sort of beat up.
"Every game is a learning experience and this one definitely is."
The Cardinals took a 6-0 lead on Linton's 36-yard touchdown sprint, with 4:56 left in the first quarter.
With 9:37 remaining in the second period, Adams hit Malik Collins with a 10-yard alley-oop pass in the end zone. With a 2-point conversion, the Cardinals led 14-0.
The Pirates' defense picked off two passes in the first half, one by Tyler Andrews and one by Grant McKoy. But they were not able to convert the turnovers into points.
Topsail starting quarterback Nick Altilio was not able to play in the second half due to an injury. The Pirates (3-2) will open their first Mideastern Conference season Friday at Hoggard.