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High School Football | Bailey, Panthers hold off Bruins in overtime | w/Video

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Pasquotank running back Raeshawn Bailey (with ball) scores the two-point conversion in overtime during the football game against Camden County, Friday at Pasquotank County High School.

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By David Gough
Sports Writer

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Points were difficult to come by in Friday night’s football game between the Camden Bruins and Pasquotank Panthers in Elizabeth City.

Despite various opportunities, neither team scored until overtime came.

After 48 minutes of a scoreless tie, Pasquotank earned its first win of the season in its home opener as the Panthers did just enough for an 8-6 victory over Camden.

“Every win is a special win.” Pasquotank assistant coach Scott White said. “We’re just happy that we got a win. We’ll be working super hard going into next week and try to move forward from this.”

The Panthers (1-2) decided to put their trust into senior running back Raeshawn Bailey as they set up at the 10-yard line to begin the first overtime.

Bailey ran the ball three consecutive times and punched his way into the end zone on third-and-short.

It was Pasquotank’s first touchdown of the season and Bailey again ran the ball in when the Panthers went for two to take an 8-0 lead.

Bailey had lost a fumble on Pasquotank’s first offensive play of the game, but made up for it in a big way being a workhorse in the backfield throughout the rest of the night.

With more than 20 carries, the senior ran for more than 150 yards and seven of those runs going for at least 10 yards each.

“(Bailey) wanted it,” White said. “He’s turning out to be a great leader on the team. He felt he had a mishap early on and he wanted to make up for that.”

White noted that the team as a whole rushed for 183 yards with positive gains also coming from John Burgess, Chris Morgan and Jordan Ponds.

Camden (0-2) responded in overtime with a touchdown when quarterback Sam Guill scrambled to his left and fumbled the ball toward the end zone, where a teammate picked it up near the right sideline for the score on a third-and-goal play from the one.

Justin Noon, however, was tackled in the backfield as the Pasquotank defense swarmed him to prevent the conversion and came away with the win.

The Bruins had a great shot to take the lead, and effectively end a 22-game losing streak, late in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t execute.

Jumpstarted by a Jackson Nobles 45-yard run to begin a drive with a little more than a minute left in regulation, they eventually tried a 35-yard field goal with 30 seconds left by Tanner Pippen.

Pippen’s kick was just short as the ball fell before the crossbar.

Camden, though, immediately got the ball back when Nobles recovered a fumble by Pasquotank quarterback Joseph White on the next play.

Nobles was stopped just two yards shy of the end zone and was stopped short again when the Bruins ran their first play from the line of scrimmage.

Camden scurried to spike the ball with under a second remaining to give Pippen a 20-yard field goal attempt to win it.

With the home crowd making as much noise as possible, Pasquotank pushed through the Bruins’ offensive line and blocked the kick to force overtime.

“We had every opportunity in the world,” Camden head coach Josh Sophia said. “We just couldn’t get over that hump. It’s going to happen for us.”

The Panthers had their opportunities as well to avoid overtime.

In the first half, first-and-goal at the 10 became a fourth-and-goal at the 19 thanks to a penalty and big sack by Camden’s Jaden Walton.

Then, Pasquotank’s Chris Morgan looked to have an 84-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to open up the second half, but penalties prevented it from counting and the drive began at the Panthers’ own 19-yard line.

In the same drive, they faced a third-and-28 from their own one-yard line and narrowly avoided a safety.

Two offensive drives later, Pasquotank sustained its longest drive of the game going 64 yards on 15 plays.

The drive took up more than eight minutes of game clock before a fumble on first-and-goal at the eight resulted in Camden taking the ball away.

Both Sophia and White were proud of their teams’ defensive efforts.

“(Our defense) really showed their character tonight,” White said.

Pasquotank will look to build on its win when it heads to Bear Grass Charter next week.

The Bruins, still looking for that elusive win, will continue their suspended game at home against Weldon.

Camden currently holds a 14-6 lead in the second quarter of a game stopped by lightning in the first week of the season.

“Our kids are dejected right now, which I just told them it makes it mean something to them,” Sophia said after the game. “We’re proud of the way we battled, but we still got a lot of work to do.”

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