High School Rewind - QB committee paying off for Vikes

Hoggard quarterback Austin Schoenleber led the offense most of the second half Friday night against New Hanover because the Vikings were trying to shorten the game and protect the lead. (Photo by Jeff Janowski)

Junior Austin Schoenleber started under center for Hoggard in Friday’s 21-18 win over New Hanover, but he was back on the sideline before the end of the opening drive, watching sophomore Xavier Johnson direct the huddle.

Although coach Scott Braswell has given both quarterbacks plenty of reps this season, he’d rarely rotated them on the same series. That approach changed against the Wildcats as he shuffled more freely between Schoenleber and Johnson, depending on the situation.

“Both of them can do what the other does,” Braswell said, “but on a night like tonight, you want to accentuate the positive.”

At 6-foot-5, Johnson is the better pure passer and handled many long-yardage downs. He finished 4-for-10 passing for 59 yards and a touchdown. He was also the quarterback on the trick play, a wide receiver pass, that resulted in Hoggard’s first score.

Schoenleber, meanwhile, provides more of a rushing threat. He completed five passes for 99 yards and added 35 rushing yards. The Topsail transfer took a majority of the second-half snaps with the team looking to protect the lead and keep the clock running. He showed an ease running the option, whether keeping it or pitching to running back Keevin Thompson (23 carries for 132 yards).

“Sometimes, it’s just kind of a feel,” said Braswell, whose team heads into its bye week. “I’m not saying I always got the feel right.”

Bulldogs spread the wealth in win

Five players scored rushing touchdowns for Wallace-Rose Hill in its 53-12 win Friday against West Bladen.

Johnie Glaspie, Keyshawn Canady, Dijon Kenan, Emmitt Herring and Thomas Edwards all found the end zone for the Bulldogs. Glaspie was the Bulldogs’ leading rusher with 74 yards as the Bulldogs’ strong ground game was balanced between the different backs.

“One thing at Wallace-Rose Hill, we’ve never had a shortage of running backs,” Bulldogs coach Joey Price said. “We’ve got a lot of running backs, so we’ve got to find a way to get them all in the game because they all work hard.”

The Bulldogs scored the first 21 points before giving up a touchdown, their first points allowed since Aug. 30. But the running game continued to work for the Bulldogs, as Canady and Glaspie both had long touchdown runs to help extend the lead.

“We have lots of different combinations of guys we can put out there,” Price said. “If you’re scouting us, it’s harder to get a beat on what we’re going to do. You don’t have to drink from the same color of flavored drink all the time, I guess.”

Eagles lose in last minute again

A touchdown with 1:02 to play in the fourth quarter gave Clinton a 21-20 win against East Bladen on Friday night.

After being felled by a 99-yard touchdown pass in the final minute last week against Midway, The Eagles lost in the game’s final minutes for the second week in a row.

The loss also dropped East Bladen to 0-2 in the Four County Conference and 1-5 overall. The five losses is already the most for any East Bladen team since the Eagles were 7-5 in 2000.

Ashley defense turns up in second half

If not for some back-breaking penalties derailing Topsail drives, the first half of Ashley’s 26-0 win Friday against the Pirates could have looked quite different.

The Pirates had success moving the ball and were at midfield or better on all four of their first-half drives. Six penalties ruined many of those chances, and a botched pitch on fourth down halted another. The Pirates had out-gained the Eagles 132-126 despite Ashley’s 7-0 lead.

In the second half, the defense changed the game. After Topsail running back Josh Jessup ran for 93 yards on 15 first-half carries, the Eagles limited him to 31 yards on eight rushes in the second half. Ashley also intercepted Topsail quarterback Nick Altilio twice, one of which was returned 37 yards for a touchdown by Bruce Kopka.

“We’re kind of a second-half team, but we need to be a whole-game team,” senior Jesse Jewell said. “We’ve got to know that no game is ever given. We have to deserve to win to get it. We have to understand that.”

Eric Detweiler contributed to this report

Vince Nairn: 343-2262

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