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BOILING SPRING LAKES—The atmosphere was electrifying, the excitement and anticipation were high. These are what rivalries are all about. North vs. South. The Scorpions of North Brunswick High School vs. the Cougars of South Brunswick High School.
Games in the past few years have been decided by a couple of points. Friday night’s game was no exception, with South Brunswick winning by one point, 21-20, to remain undefeated (7-0).
The game did not start well for South Brunswick. With 7 minutes and 48 seconds remaining in the first quarter, South coach Gordon Walters decided to go for it on fourth down and inches at their 28. This call resulted in a fumble recovered by North Brunswick. A pass from A. J. Perkins to DeAndre Robbins resulted in a first down, and that led to an Anthony “Move The Chains” Gaines 10-yard touchdown run. The first quarter ended with North leading 6-0.
However, the momentum changed in the second quarter. South scored on a 43-yard reverse by Greg Gilbert. The extra point hit the upright and bounced back, leaving the game tied 6-6.
The momentum changed again to North with a kickoff return by Jesse Riley and a penalty by South Brunswick, which left North in a good field position. Facing fourth-and-10 with 6 minutes left in the first half, North coach Garry Bishop decided to go for it, and a pass from Perkins to Shawn Sanders put the ball on the Cougar 15. Gaines went into high gear again and scored on an 8-yard run. The two-point conversion was no good, but North was ahead 12-6.
Like all good rivalries go, the momentum changed again for South Brunswick, when the Cougars decided to go for it facing a fourth-and-11with a little more than one minute left in the first half. Cougar quarterback Zack Alcorn rolled to his right and hit Rashawn Jenkins for a 21-yard touchdown pass. The packed stadium erupted for South Brunswick. The two-point conversion by Kenneth White gave South a 14-12 lead at halftime.
The start of the third quarter still had the Cougars with the momentum, as they got outstanding runs from Rashen Bellamy and White. Bellamy led all rushers with 153 yards. White had 99 yards.
With 2:08 left in the third quarter, Bellamy looked as if he was stopped at the line of scrimmage, but he bounced outside the pile and galloped 68 yards for a South Brunswick touchdown. The extra point was good, and that gave the Cougars a 21-12 lead at the end of the third quarter.
The momentum changed again from the Cougars to the Scorpions when the Cougars missed a field goal attempt, which gave the Scorpions some life. With fewer than two minutes left in the game, Perkins passed to Riley in the flat, and Riley used his lightning-quick speed to go 62 yards for a North Brunswick touchdown. The two-point conversion was good, leaving North down 21-20. The ensuing onside kick by the Scorpions was recovered by the Cougars and that ended North’s final threat.
“It feels great,” Walters said. “I told our players to enjoy it tonight, but we will have to get down to business next week.”
South plays on Friday at South Columbus. North, 1-3 in the conference, 4-4 overall, plays Trask on Friday in a homecoming game.
“We expected and prepared for what they were going to do,” Bishop said. “We just couldn’t stop them. They were a little bit more physical up front.”