Pamlico upsets A-G, 38-28
Ayden-Griton's Jeffrey Darden motions to a referee during their game against Pamlico County. Photo courtesy The Daily Reflector
AYDEN—It started poorly for Ayden-Grifton Friday night and never really got any better.
The Chargers found themselves down two touchdowns before their offense took the field and never recovered in a lethargic 38-28 loss to Pamlico County.
“We were flat, and we played soft,” A-G coach Paul Cornwell said. “We tried to tell the kids that nothing that happened last week (a 61-0 win over Chocowinity Southside) mattered this week. We played like all we had to do was show up, especially at the beginning of the game.”
Pamlico, playing its season opener, took the opening kickoff and needed just 4 plays to cover 71 yards, the last 56 on an option keeper by quarterback Lamont Murray.
The Hurricanes then recovered a gutsy onside kick attempt and marched 40 yards for another TD to build a 16-0 lead at the 8:11 mark of the opening quarter. A-G’s offense had yet to see the field.
The Chargers (1-1) finally seemed to put it together, receiving touchdowns runs of 12 and 1 yards from Ray Darden on their next two possessions, the latter coming as the first quarter expired.
The turning point came during a one-minute stretch of the second period.
After Pamlico’s Sayvone Tutt stunned the home crowd with a 70-yard TD burst on a fourth-and-three play with 9:13 remaining in the half, Hurricanes defensive back picked off an overthrown Blake McLawhorn pass and raced 69 yards to pay dirt just 62 seconds later, building the lead to 30-12.
Darden scored his third TD late in the half to draw the Chargers to within 12, but after a scoreless third quarter, Pamlico sealed the outcome with a 4-yard score from Tutt early in the fourth period.
McLawhorn connected with Jeffrey Gunter on an 18-yard scoring pass with 2:18 left to complete the scoring.
“As an old line coach, it’s hard for me to say this, but we got whipped up front,” Cornwell said. “They wanted it more than we did and just physically beat us. How we bounce back from this will say a lot about our team.”
The Hurricanes ran for 322 yards, led by Tutt’s 142 on 22 carries.
Tutt carried the ball 9 times in the first half and then was asked to carry the load after halftime; his number was called 10 times in the third quarter alone.
In contrast, A-G managed just 141 yards rushing, with Darden churning out 77 hard-earned yards on 15 carries.
“Right now, the only thing this game means is that we won’t go undefeated,” Cornwell said. “As long as we come back to practice Monday ready to go and with some fire, we should be fine.”
Pamlico County 16 16 0 6—38
Ayden-Grifton 12 8 0 8—28
P—Lamont Murray 56 run (La-Monti Lewis run), 10:35
P—Lewis 5 run (Sayvone Tutt run), 8:11
AG—Ray Darden 12 run (run failed), 5:08
AG—Darden 1 run (kick blocked), :00
P—Tutt 70 run (Lewis run), 9:13
P—Lewis 69 interception return (Tutt run), 8:11
AG—Darden 2 run (Blake McLawhorn run), 5:34
P—Tutt 4 run (run failed), 11:20
AG—Jeffrey Gunter 18 pass from McLawhorn (Darden run), 2:18
First Downs 11 15
Rushes-yards 52-322 31-141
Passing 1-3-0 8-16-1
Passing yards 0 111
Total yards 322 252
Punts-avg. 3-34.6 2-37.0
Penalties 12-90 2-20
Fumbles-lost 2-0 3-2
RUSHING—Pamlico County: Sayvone Tutt 22-142, Lamont Murray 11-94, George Jones 7-55, Qaran Goodwin 2-13, William Lovick 5-11, Jarqez Jones 1-4, Jywon Mattocks 1-3, La-Monti Lewis 2-1, Team 1-(minus 1). Ayden-Grifton: Ray Darden 15-77, Marlon Cannon 5-30, Keyshawn Best 4-16, Casper McGrane 2-14, Kevin Boomer 1-11, Blake McLawhorn 2-(minus 1), Michael Webb 2-(minus 6).
PASSING—Pamlico County: Murray 1-3-0 0. Ayden-Grifton: McLawhorn 8-16-1 111.
RECEIVING—Pamlico County: Tutt 1-0. Ayden-Grifton: J. C. Darden 3-80, Jeffrey Gunter 3-35, Cannon Faison 1-0, Darden 1-(minus 4).