Stanley's running carries Trojans
Fri. October 18, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. | By Tom Grady | StarNews Correspondent | firstname.lastname@example.org
Topsail's Jakeem Smith attempts to tackle West Brunswick's Tavon Stanley during a Mideastern Conference game on Friday, Oct. 18, 2013. (Photo by Jason A. Frizzelle)
HAMPSTEAD | West Brunswick wrapped up the top Class 3A seed in the state high school football playoffs out of the Mideastern Conference on Friday night with a 20-14 win at Topsail.
The Trojans now have wins over the two other 3A clubs in the conference and improved their record to 2-1 in conference play.
Running back Tavon Stanley paced the offense with 131 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries.
"That's one of your preseason goals," West Brunswick coach Scott Frazier said. "You'd love to win the conference and then you want to make a playoff berth and then you want to win a playoff game.
"It allows us to focus on the next step, which is improving our position in that, as much as we possibly can."
Two plays into the final period, Stanley gave the Trojans a 20-7 lead with a 2-yard scoring run.
But the home-standing Pirates battled back and closed the gap to 20-14 when quarterback Nick Altilio hit Tyler Andrews with a 15-yard pass in the end zone.
With 1:37 to play, Topsail's onside kick was recovered by West Brunswick and its offense ran out the clock.
"When we play like we're capable of playing, we're pretty darn good," Frazier said. "And that's the bar that we have to clear."
The Pirates got 94 rushing yards on 21 carries from their big back, Josh Jessup. Topsail (3-6, 0-4) rallied to take a 7-6 lead on a Jessup 10-yard run, with just under three minutes left in the first half.
But West Brunswick countered with a seven-play drive, capped by Stanley's 5-yard burst into the end zone. The Trojans took their 12-7 advantage into the break. The first half was a flag fest, featuring 14 penalties.
Earlier, Stanley kicked off the scoring with a 49-yard run, midway through the first quarter. He was able to burst through the line and raced untouched through the defensive secondary.