Perquimans football shut out by Northside

Northside-Pinetown 38 Perquimans 0

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Perquimans' Ceo Riddick (with ball) during the football game against Northside-Pinetown, Friday, August 17, 2018 at Perquimans County High School.

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PQ #7
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PQ #15 handing off to PQ#23
PQ#1 running the ball

By Mike Wood

Sunday, August 19, 2018

HERTFORD — The Perquimans County High School football team has good reasons for a positive outlook in 2018.

They have a new stadium under construction, and a new enthusiastic head coach Randy Awrey with 23 years experience.

However, despite tremendous effort by the young Pirates, they could not overcome several factors as they dropped their home opener to Northside-Pinetown by the score of 38-0.

First, there was the heat.

Game time temperature was 89 degrees, and this condition exposed the Pirates lack of depth.

Perquimans dressed out a roster of only about 21 players. On the other side of the gridiron, Pinetown was 35 strong, with fresh legs coming in and out continually.

Secondly, injuries struck early and often to the Pirates.

On the second play from scrimmage, Perquimans running back D'ante Harvey, their key offensive player, injured his ankle making a cut, and was out for the rest of the game.

The Pirates would go on to lose nine players for parts of the game due to injury.

And last, their was the very talented quarterback for Pinetown, Jonathan Clark, a senior, who ran their option offense with complete efficiency.

Clark put the ball in the belly of his backs and pulled it out, sometimes going to the third or fourth option. With at least six Panther running backs getting significant touches, substituting on almost every play. There was lots of motion, misdirection, and reverses that wore down the very game Pirate defense.

Perquimans started well. Saiveon Skinner returned the opening kickoff to the 36 yard line. A Pinetown offsides moved the ball to the 41, and then Harvey took a pitch from quarterback Michael Brasseur around right end for 15 yards and a first down. Harvey was hurt on the next play, a loss of six, but they still had momentum after Antwan Harris took an option pitch for ten yards to the Panther 40. A quarterback sack stopped the drive, and Perquimans punted.

Pinetown failed to get a first down deep in their own territory. A nice open field tackle for a loss by Anthony Griswold prevented a back from turning the corner. After an incomplete pass, a punt set up Perquimans with great field position at the Panther 39 yard line. They lost five yards on three plays, and had to give the ball back to Pinetown. The Panthers moved the ball into Pirate territory, but their drive was stopped when defensive end Chase Ward came up with a big turnover, a fumble recovery on the Perquimans 32 yard line.

Again, the Pirates went three plays and out, and a punt set up Pinetown inside midfield. The Panthers, staying strictly with the running game, were driving for their first score as the first quarter ended in a scoreless stalemate. Three plays into the second quarter, Pinetown broke through with a short touchdown run and a successful conversion for the 8-0 lead.

The offensive difficulties and inexperience continued for Perquimans in the second quarter. Unable to move the ball effectively, they committed two turnovers in the passing game, but the defense continued to play well and keep the Pirates in the ball game. Midway through the quarter. Pinetown increased their lead to 16-0 when, on a long third down situation, Clark rolled out to his right ahead of pursuit and hit receiver Tyshawan Robertson for a 33 yard touchdown. That would be all the scoring in the first half.

"Our team played hard all night," said Perquimans coach Awrey. " I'm glad you saw the effort from the stands as they kept getting after it on every play, especially on defense."

Indeed, the Pirate defense did not let up, and provided the highlight of the night for Perquimans. Pinetown took the second half kickoff and drove straight down the field for a first and goal inside the ten yard line. The Pirates staged a goal line stand, keeping the Panthers out of the end zone four straight plays. Big stops in the middle of the line were made by George Simpson, Matt Ward, and Colton Meads. And on fourth down Jaheim Holley made a touchdown saving tackle on a slant that gave possession back to Perquimans.

Awrey had praise for his quarterback Michael Brasseur who was harassed all night by the penetration of a big Panther frontline. "He has never played quarterback before. He didn't even play football last year, but he is a very good athlete, who has worked very hard and will get better. The entire team has worked hard to improve. We will continue to work and we will get there."