NL nearly pulls upset of Farmville Central
North Lenoir's Onassis Gardner rumbles for the first of his two touchdowns Friday against Farmville Central. Photo by William 'Bud' Hardy /Neuse News
LA GRANGE – North Lenoir nearly beat Farmville Central for only the second time in program history, but came up short in a 21-14 decision Friday night.
NL (0-2) led 14-13 at halftime and but gave up a Farmville Central touchdown with 10:04 remaining in regulation. But it was a strong defensive stop for the Jaguars with less than four minutes remaining that made the difference in the game.
Following the Jags’ go-ahead touchdown, North Lenoir moved the ball down the field to the FC 1-yard line, where the Hawks had it first-and-goal. However, a costly 10-yard penalty against NL, and back-to-back sacks by the Jaguars defense pushed the Hawks out of scoring contention.
On North Lenoir’s final possession of the game, a Farmville interception by Sam Barrett sealed the win with 40 seconds remaining.
It was a tough way for the Hawks to lose, but first-year coach Jim Collins had plenty of reasons to be proud of his squad.
“We’re making strides,” he said. “The same thing happened to us last week when we had it first-and-goal from the 1 and we couldn’t get it in. But that’s stuff we can work on and it’s fixable.”
The Jaguars were missing nine regulars Friday night due to a variety of injuries, another fact that made FC coach Scott Gardner prouder of his team’s resolve.
“We played mighty hard tonight and our young kids made a lot of mistakes, but that’s what young kids do,” he said. “They showed some character tonight.”
Sophomore quarterback Tayvon Suggs was the offensive stalwart for the Jaguars, rushing 20 times for 93 yards. He also completed one pass, but it was an important one as it went for an 11-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Dontavious Short scored on a 90-yard kickoff return and Sam Barrett’s 2-yard touchdown run with 10:04 remaining proved to be the difference.
North Lenoir was led offensively by Onassis Gardner, who rushed for both the Hawks’ scores.
FC 0 13 0 8 -- 21
NL 0 14 0 0 -- 14
NL—Onassis Gardner 3 run (Damon Hewitt kick), 11:05
FC—Donatvious Short 90 kickoff return (Zander Gardner kick), 10:51
NL—Gardner 2 run (Hewitt kick), 5:14
FC—Brandon Simmons 11 pass from Tayvon Suggs (run failed), 1:27
FC—Sam Barrett 2 run (Simmons pass from Suggs), 10:04
First downs 13 13
Rushes/yards 36-193 29-138
Passing yards 11 82
Comp-att-int 1-2-1 7-17-2
Total yards 204 220
Fumb/Lost 5-2 3-0
Punts-avg 1-43.0 1-19.0
Penalties-yds 9-95 9-69
Rushing: FC—Tayvon Suggs 20-93, Sam Barrett 10-46, Dontavious Short 4-36, David Barrett 1-14, Quintaye Reid 1-4. NL—Nyjal Koonce 5-69, Terrance Copper 6-45, Onassis Gardner 8-40, Isiah Warren 3-5, James Whitfield 1-0, Christian Young 6-(minus-21).
Passing: FC—Suggs 1-2-1, 11. NL—Young 7-16-2, 82; Jason Gagnon 0-1-0, 0.
Receiving: FC—Brandon Simmons 1-11. NL—Koonce 2-74, Gagnon 1-5, Copper 3-3, Whitfield 1-0.