Boomer leads Chargers to victory over North Pitt
Michael Webb runs for a touchdown in Ayden-Grifton’s 35-7 win over North Pitt (photo by Bud Hardy)
BETHEL | It had been three weeks since Ayden-Grifton took the field, but the Chargers were able to shake off their rust against the North Pitt Panthers Friday.
Led by a commanding performance by Kevin Boomer, the Chargers dominated the Panthers and took the contest 35-7. Boomer would lead all players with 136 yards rushing on seven carries and two touchdowns.
In comparison, the Chargers defense held North Pitt to just 140 yards rushing.
“We’re happy to be back on the field,” Ayden-Grifton coach Paul Cornwell said after the long layoff. “We were anticipating that we might have been a little rusty and we didn’t have any in the first half of the game. It came in the second half, but it was good to get the guys out there and play again. Boomer is a sophomore tailback. He has a burst of speed and we tried to give him some reps and he gave us a big game tonight.”
“Ayden showed us a lot of speed tonight and it made us work hard to stop them, North Pitt coach Gregory Watford said. “ Our guys fought hard. They didn’t give up all game.”
The Panthers were rolling on their opening drive, highlighted by a 26-yard run by Zaiere Bradley, but on the next play Michael Webb forced and recovered a fumble. Ayden-Grifton would counter with its own drive, with a 30-yard pass from Blake McLawhorn to Ray Darden, setting up Tyler Brown’s 8-yard touchdown run to give AG the first score of the game.
“I read that play well and made a big hit for us,” Webb said. “We’ve been off for three weeks. It felt great to finally get back out there. We made a few mistakes, but we played hard and earned this win.”
“Webb is a Webb. He is a leader,” Cornwell said. “He works hard and put it all out there tonight for us. He came up with a lot of big plays for us.”
The Chargers would pick up touchdown runs from McLawhorn and Webb to go up 21-0 at intermission, and Boomer opened up the second half with a 58-yard touchdown run for the Chargers.
“I felt like I have been working really hard in practice and it has been paying off for me,” Boomer said. “We’ve been waiting to get on the field and show what we can do. Today we worked hard and played strong as a team.”
“At times we executed really well,” Cornwell said. “North Pitt had some wrinkles that we hadn’t seen. They adjusted well to us, especially later on in the game. We’re still a work in progress. You’d like to see consistency in the guys. That will come with practicing hard and applying what we learned at practice to the games.”
Chrishawne Ward would score on a 30-yard touchdown run to put North Pitt on the board in the fourth, but Ayden-Grifton responded with a drive of their own, culminating in a 30-yard touchdown run by Boomer.
With the win, Ayden-Grifton moves to 3-2 on the season and Coach Cornwell moves into a tie with B.T. Chappell with 120 victories. Cornwell said the record isn’t as important as what is up ahead.
“I’m more focused on next week with our first conference game with Washington,” Cornwell said. “The goal now is to be 1-0 at the end of the week. That will help dictate where you will be in the playoffs. That is the most important thing right now. The records and stuff I can think about when I am done coaching some day.”
1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH Final
AG 7 14 7 7 35
North Pitt 0 0 0 7 7
First Quarter Scoring
AG: Tyler Brown 8 yd run (Christian Hernandez kick good)
Second Quarter Scoring
AG: Blake McLawhorn 2 yd run (Hernandez kick good)
AG: Michael Webb 11 yd run (Hernandez kick good)
Third Quarter Scoring
AG: Kevin Boomer 58 yd run (Hernandez kick good)
Fourth Quarter Scoring
NP: Chrishawne Ward 30 yd run (Chris Hardee kick good)
AG: Boomer 30 yd run (Hernandez kick good)
First Downs 9 6
Rushes-Yards 35-266 37-140
Passing-Attempts 1-2 0-0
Passing Yards 30 0
Total Yards 296 140
Fumbles-Lost 1-3 1-2
Penalties 7-65 8-43
Punt-Avg 2-52 1-37
RUSHING: Ayden-Grifton: Boomer 7-136, Darden 9-44, Cannon 5-41, Webb 3-24, Brown 4-17, Best 2-11, McLawhorn 2-2, Wright 1- -2, Crossen 2- -2, Connell 1- -4
North Pitt: Jones 13-43, Bradley 6-35, Ward 3-35, Carmon 12-23, Johnson 3-11, Blango 2- -7
PASSING: Ayden-Grifton: McLawhorn 1-2 30
RECEIVING: Ayden-Grifton: Darden 1-30