By Charles Curcio, Sports Editor
Monday, September 24, 2012 —
With video sharing websites like YouTube and others showing his amazing performances on the football field on both offense and defense dating back to eighth grade, tales of the promise that North Stanly freshman running back Antonio Williams had displayed early in life has buzzed around the football community in North Stanly and beyond for quite some time.
That promise is fast becoming a reality as the freshman had his highest rushing total of his young career in a 45-14 home win for North Stanly at R.N. Jeffery Stadium on Friday night over Central Academy.
Williams carried the ball 31 of North’s 53 carries and had 301 total rushing yards, along with a 30-yard pass reception for 341 all-purpose yards, 77 percent of his team’s 443 total yards of offense against Central.
After the game, Williams gave a great deal of credit to the offensive line’s efforts Friday night, echoed by the sentiments of North Head Coach Ralph Jackson, who said that the offensive line of the Comets “controlled the line of scrimmage.”
The Cougars took the opening kickoff down to the Comet 32-yard line but fumbled on fourth down recovered by Jonathan Chandler.
North (1-5, 1-1 RRC) did something on their first drive that they had not done all season long: score a touchdown. The Comets marched 70 yards down the field in 11 plays, capped off by the first of Williams’ three rushing touchdowns.
After holding the Cougars to a three-and-out on their next series, new Comet quarterback Kasey Caulder went to the air for his first pass of the game. However, Cougar Quay Threatt picked the ball off and went 32 yards for a touchdown. Jeremy Fehlman’s extra point tied the game with 3:10 left in the first quarter.
From there, the Comets went on an absolute tear offensive, scoring the next 38 points of the game including a dominating 17-0 in the second period. Andrew Gibson gave North Stanly the lead for good with a 25-yard field goal two minutes into the second quarter, capping off another 11-play drive.
Jordan Faulkner then recovered a CATA fumble at the Cougar 45 and North took eight plays and 4:05 off the clock to take a 17-7 lead, with Caulder finding Clay Fesperman in the endzone for an 18-yard touchdown pass.
The two teams later exchanged interceptions in the second, with Hunter Lunsford coming up with a pick and setting the Comets up at the Central 29-yard line. On the very next play, Williams scored his second touchdown of the game for a 24-7 halftime lead.
North’s freshman sensation struck quickly on the Comets’ second drive of the second half. From the North 16, Williams blazed down the sidelines for an 84-yard touchdown making it 31-7 Comets.
Turnovers again came back to haunt Central Academy (1-5, 1-1) once again, this time midway through the fourth quarter. Quarterback Travis Levin was pressured in the pocket again by the Comets’ defensive rush and Levin was hit as he threw the ball. Comet defensive back Lacey Riggins had a tailor-made pick six in front of him and he converted it for a 52-yard touchdown.
With backup quarterback Zach Almond in late in the period, the Comets scored again, set up by a 33-yard Almond pass to Fesperman to the Cougars’ 1-yard line. Dylan Auman scored three plays later for the final Comets points of the game.
The Cougars added a late touchdown on a 34-yard strike by Levin to Luke Porter after Levin scrambled to his right and appeared to be past the line of scrimmage when the ball was thrown.
North travels to Monroe (3-3, 2-0) on Friday night. The Redhawks won at Union Academy 40-3.
CA 7 0 0 7 14
NS 7 17 7 14 45
NS – Antonio Williams 1 run (Andrew Gibson kick), 6:09, 1st
CA – Quay Threatt 32 interception return (Jeremy Fehlman kick), 3:10, 1st
NS – Gibson 25 FG, 10:12, 2nd
NS – Clay Fesperman 18 pass from Kasey Caulder (Gibson kick), 5:20, 2nd
NS – Williams 29 run (Gibson kick), :37, 2nd
NS – Williams 84 run (Gibson kick), 6:19, 3rd
NS – Lacey Riggins 52 interception return (Gibson kick), 7:21, 4th
NS – Dylan Auman 1 run (Gibson kick), 2:38, 4th
CA – Luke Porter 34 pass from Travis Levin (Fehlman kick), :16, 4th
1st Downs 14 20
Rushing 20-58 53-362
Passing 152 81
C-A-I 12-32-3 3-7-2
Punts 7-34.7 2-23.5
Penalties 7-25 9-65
Fum.-Lost 2-2 2-0
3rd Down 3-11 8-13
4th Down 0-3 1-3
TOP 18:58 29:02
Rushing: CA –Straing 10-54; Morrison 3-16; Chandler 2-(-1); Levin 2-(-6); Heda 1-2; Jefferson 1-1; TEAM 1-(-8). NS – Williams 31-301, 3 RD; Lunsford 7-36; Brunner 5-5; Caulder 4-24; Auman 2-2, TD; Almond 2-(-3); Davis 2-(-3).
Passing: CA – Levin 12-32-3 152 yds, TD. NS – Caulder 2-6-2, 48 yds, TD; Almond 1-1-0, 33 yds.
Receiving: CA – Threatt 4-29; Porter 3-78, TD; Straing 2-15; Jefferson 1-11; Gomez 1-5; TEAM 1-14. NS – Fesperman 2-51, TD; Williams 1-30.