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High School Football | Stanley, Aces cruise past Panthers

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The John A. Holmes High school defense attempts to tackle Pasquotank's Joseph White (2) during the football game, Tuesday September 10, 2019 at John A. Holmes High School.

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By David Gough
Sports Writer

Thursday, September 12, 2019

EDENTON — In a game that was originally scheduled for last Friday, moved up to Wednesday, then rescheduled for Monday, there was finally nice enough weather Tuesday for John A. Holmes football to host the Pasquotank Panthers.

It was all Aces on Tuesday as John A. Holmes defeated Pasquotank 48-0.

“I thought we came out ready to play and looked pretty crisp,” John A. Holmes head coach Paul Hoggard said.

Edenton (2-0) had very little trouble offensively in the first half as the Aces scored on each possession aside from the clock running out in the second quarter.

Unsurprisingly, premier running back Mitjonta Stanley played a key role in the first 24 minutes.

The junior scored four rushing touchdowns finishing with five carries for about 105 yards on the night.

After Pasquotank (0-2) punted away after going three-and-out to begin the game, Stanley carried the ball for five yards and then 46 to the end zone for an early 6-0 Aces lead.

On John A. Holmes’ following possession, Stanley ran a much shorter one yard to score for a 13-0 lead.

That play was set up by Keenan Downing, who caught a punt facing backwards at the Pasquotank 45-yard line.

The catch took his momentum past midfield where he turned around for about a 54-yard return down the right sideline just short of the goal line.

Stanley then had a 40-yard score for a 20-0 lead and later an 11-yard run for Edenton’s final score of the first half, making it 41-0.

In between the running back’s third and fourth touchdowns, Jabari Stanley recovered a fumble for a 40-yard score after a host of Aces gave Pasquotank running back Raeshawn Bailey no room to reach the line of scrimmage.

Quarterback Landen Hoggard also connected with Downing on a 22-yard touchdown pass for a 34-0 lead early in the second quarter.

Hoggard finished with three completions for 49 yards in the game with the other two throws connecting with Cameron Grimstead.

Most starters for John A. Holmes did not play in the second half as a running clock was implemented before the end of the first half.

“I thought we were much improved from when we played Bertie,” coach Hoggard said. “I thought we were sharper and crisper on both sides of the ball. Didn’t turn the ball over with the first unit in there.”

Quan Twine had the only score of the second half with a 37-yard run at the end of the third quarter.

“(Edenton’s) tough, they’re aggressive,” Pasquotank assistant coach Scott White said. “We have a lot of young kids out there and we just have to do better.”

Pasquotank had trouble moving the ball throughout Tuesday night as each drive ended with the last play being more than 10 yards away from the first down marker.

The Panthers managed just three first downs in the game as they still have yet to score on the young season.

Quarterback Joseph White, who took on the role of starting quarterback after Pasquotank tragically lost Logan Grubb in an automobile accident in August, finished 3-for-12 in the air.

All three completions were to Dahmel Ferebee, who was almost on the receiving end of a long touchdown pass if not for a great play by an Edenton defender to break it up in the fourth quarter.

“(Joseph White) just stepping up after Logan to even accept the position, we’re pleased with what he’s doing,” assistant coach White said. “There’s still a lot of work left to do, but we’ll continue to work and just try to get better every week.”

Thanks to the game being moved to Tuesday night, both teams now have a very quick turnaround with games on Friday night.

Pasquotank is scheduled to host Camden, while Edenton heads to First Flight for a game that was already postponed due to rain in week 1.

Coach Hoggard noted that he hasn’t ever had to get ready for a game this quickly in 32 years of coaching, but he also noted that they are not the only school that’s had to deal with it.

“I think we got a plan to take advantage and make the best of this situation,” he said.

A TRIBUTE FOR GRUBB

Before Tuesday’s game began, John A. Holmes principal Steve Wood took the microphone on the track in front of the Aces’ bench.

He presented Pasquotank athletic director Michael Barlow with two checks.

One was for $610, from the Edenton community and students of John A. Holmes, and $250, from the John A. Holmes athletic booster club.

In light of Logan Grubb’s passing, the Edenton community set up a “PENNIES FOR PASQUOTANK” fundraiser as Grubb’s parents asked for donations to the Panthers’ athletic department.

“It means a lot to Pasquotank and the team for another school and their community to become involved with such a tragedy at our school,” Barlow said.

A moment of silence for Grubb was held during the presentation.

Wood noted that some of the Edenton football players told him that they knew Grubb and that he was a good guy.

He also said that it could’ve easily been one of their students and that he would hope others would help out the Edenton community in the same way.

“We consider ourselves a family around here,” Wood said. “We’re so small that everybody knows everybody. We try to pitch in and help where we can.”

Barlow mentioned his appreciation for the support that other schools in the area have shown to the Pasquotank community.

“You can tell (Edenton) takes care of their people and this was a chance to spread some of their support,” Barlow said.

There was also a moment of silence held pregame for William “Bro” Bonner, a longtime fixture with the Aces football program, who passed away last week.

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