Runaway Victory

Stanley, Edenton run by Pasquotank

John A. Holmes 47 Pasquotank 0

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Edenton-John A. Holmes running back Mitjonta Stanley (with ball) during the football game against Pasquotank, Thursday, August 30, 2018 at Pasquotank County High School.

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By David Gough
Sports Writer

Saturday, September 1, 2018

John A. Holmes ran by Pasquotank Thursday night for a dominant 47-0 win, but the Aces didn’t have the smoothest of starts.

In fact, neither team had a smooth beginning.

The first quarter alone saw seven fumbles between the two teams, with six resulting in turnovers. The first three possessions of the game ended with recovered fumbles.

Needless to say, the hot and humid night started out a little sloppy.

“I don’t know if it was pregame jitters or whatever, but we settled in and got better,” John A. Holmes coach Paul Hoggard said.

The visiting Aces (3-0) did get better and once they did, the night became yet another Mitjonta Stanley show.

The junior running back scored five touchdowns on the night, making it 16 total in his first three games. He finished with 269 rushing yards and 190 of that came in the first half.

Stanley got things going for John A. Holmes offensively with a 24-yard touchdown run just over three minutes into the game. Five minutes later, he ran 63 yards to the end zone to make it 14-0.

Both scores came on plays immediately following Panther turnovers. Sophomore Teddy Wilson and senior Chace Kelly also ran in for touchdowns on the opening play of drives, with 33-yard and 11-yard touchdown runs as the Aces led 28-0 after the first 12 minutes of play.

Stanley’s longest run of the night was his final touchdown, sprinting 79 yards for six points in the third quarter. He averaged nearly 40 yards per touch on seven carries.

“He’s got a special talent,” Hoggard said. “He’s very humble about it. Just goes about his business and does what he does.”

Humble may be the accurate assessment as Stanley knows he wouldn’t already be fewer than 200 yards away from a thousand-yard rushing season without the guys up front.

“The offensive line did a good job blocking,” Stanley said. “Just practicing hard in practice and going out and getting it done in the game.”

Pasquotank (1-2) had a tough night all around as its early miscues dug too deep a hole to climb out of, never finding a rhythm offensively. The Panthers committed five turnovers total, all in the first half, matching the amount of first downs they were able to reach the entire game.

RaShawn Spencer declined to comment after the game, but the Panthers will be looking to get back on track at Camden next Friday.

It still was an imperfect night for John A. Holmes. A high snap, a fumble at the goal line and a muffed punt accounted for three of their four turnovers on the night.

On top of that, John A. Holmes wasn’t as disciplined as Hoggard would’ve liked, committing penalties at inopportune times. One flag negated junior Keenan Downing’s 53-yard punt return for a touchdown.

“I think we still have to look at what we did wrong,” Hoggard said. “We had a lot of miscues, got a lot of things we can better at and as we travel down the road, we’re going to have to get better at.”

The 47-point shutout win, however, makes it a little more enjoyable to work on their flaws leading up to next week’s home game against Bertie.

“Happy about being 3-0,” Hoggard said. “It’s a lot more fun to work on (mistakes) after a win than a loss.”