Holmes throws six TDs, Pitts catches four as Kinston routs South Lenoir
DEEP RUN—Montana to Rice. Aikman to Irvin. Manning to Harrison.
They’re some of the most prolific passing combinations in football history, and for one night, at least, two more names can be added to that list: Demetri Holmes and Khari Pitts.
The Kinston High duo hooked up for 4 touchdowns as the Vikings opened its pursuit of the Jimmy Smith Cup with a convincing 53-0 whipping of Eastern Carolina 2A Conference and county rival South Lenoir Friday at Thomas H. Salter Stadium.
Holmes completed 16 of 24 passes for 326 yards and a whopping six TDs, while Pitts hauled in six receptions for 176 yards and scored on catches of 14, 64, 37, and 56 yards.
“They were in sync the entire game,” Kinston coach Ryan Gieselman said. “Demetri found his rhythm early, and we were able to take advantage of Khari’s speed on the outside.”
Holmes connected with six different receivers, tossed three of his touchdowns on fourth down snaps, another on a second-and-32 situation, and added 46 yards on the ground.
“It was a good way to bounce back after last week (a 27-14 loss at home to Washington),” Gieselman said. “We struggled on offense last week, and this week in practice we decided to go back to the basics. We did a great job of translating what we worked on in practice to the game.”
As a team, the Vikings (3-3, 1-1) enjoyed a huge 492-75 advantage in total yardage. The biggest downside: 17 penalties for 152 yards, something that Gieselman stated has “got to be cleaned up.”
Despite its lack of offense, South Lenoir did enjoy a few nice moments.
Kodjo Missebukpo returned the opened kickoff 46 yards to the Kinston 45. Linebacker Justin Strickland scooped up a fumble and rambled 43 yards to the Kinston 37, and the Devils drove to the KHS 7 midway through the second quarter before coming up just short on fourth and 4.
“We had some opportunities, but we just didn’t execute,” SL coach Jeremy Joyner said. “We dug ourselves an early hole (trailed 19-0 after one quarter) and things just sort of snowballed from there. I can’t fault the effort. We played hard.”
The Devils (2-4, 0-2) were also hurt by four turnovers, all of which came in the first half as Kinston jumped to a 33-0 halftime lead.
By the time Sara Beth Stroud was named Homecoming queen, the Vikings had started five of its first six drives in South Lenoir territory.
“We’ve got some key injuries that are holding us back,” Joyner said. “We don’t make excuses, but what we need are some of our younger kids to step up. When that happens, and when we start to get healthy, we’ll be back to where we need to be.”
Kinston 53, South Lenoir 0
Kinston 19 14 13 7—53
South Lenoir 0 0 0 0—0
K—Will London 10 run (kick failed), 6:37
K—Khari Pitts 14 pass from Demetri Holmes (Diego Patino kick), 3:34
K—Pitts 64 pass from Holmes (run failed), 1:08
K—Iverson Ward 21 pass from Holmes (Patino kick), 10:11
K—Pitts 37 pass from Holmes (Patino kick), 9:07
K—Pitts 56 pass from Holmes (Patino kick), 10:28
K—London 48 pass from Holmes (kick failed), 8:48
K—Davion Phillips 4 run (Patino kick), 3:05
First Downs 16 5
Rushes-yards 20-166 18-12
Passing 16-24-0 10-26-2
Passing yards 326 63
Total yards 492 75
Punts-avg. 0-0 3-25.7
Penalties 17-152 11-86
Fumbles-lost 4-2 3-2
RUSHING—Kinston: Iverson Ward 4-54, Demetri Holmes 5-46, Jalen Moore 1-29, Calvin Holloway 1-25, Nicky Walters 2-19, TyQuez Drake 1-17, Will London 1-10, Josh Holloway 1-5, Davion Phillips 1-4, Khari Pitts 2-1, Team 3-(minus 44). South Lenoir: Kodjo Missebukpo 9-13, John Howard 2-2, Xavier Mitchell 6-0, Joseph Cobb 1-(minus 3).
PASSING—Kinston: Holmes 16-24-0 320. South Lenoir: Howard 10-26-2 63.
RECEIVING—Kinston: Pitts 6-176, J. Holloway 6-61, London 1-48, Ward 1-21, Caleb Gooding 1-12, C. Holloway 1-8. South Lenoir: Johnathan Haddock 2-38, Cobb 3-13, Mckade Cates 1-10, Mitchell 2-4, Carson Stroud 2-(minus 2).