Bears Top Mustangs
Visiting Chatham Central beat the North Moore football team 38-12 on Senior Night in Robbins Friday.
The Bears (3-8, 2-5 Yadkin Valley Conference) used a balanced offense to build a 32-0 lead over the Mustangs (1-10, 1-6 YVC) in the first half.
Wesley Degraffenreaidt and Brooks Childress powered a two-headed rushing attack, while quarterback Josh Edwards tossed three touchdown passes.
Both North Moore touchdowns came in the second half. Senior running back Jamar Brower punched in a 3-yard score with 6:37 to go in the third quarter. Senior wideout Sterling Barrett had a touchdown reception from quarterback Xavier Scotton with 5:54 to go in the game.
Scotton was hampered by an ankle injury he suffered before the game, according to coach Greg Simmons, which changed the Mustangs’ whole game plan.
“We had a lot of kids that played really, really, really hard,” he said. “I feel bad for these seniors that things ended up the way they did. But they kept their composure and they kept battling. Things could have gotten ugly there at the end of the first half, and we were able to regain our composure and come out, and we played better in the second half.”
The Bears scored on the fourth play of its opening possession when Edwards hit Childress for a 35-yard touchdown. After the Mustangs went three and out on their first possession, Edwards capped a six-play, 63-yard drive with a another 35-yard TD strike, this time to Mark Lyons. The subsequent extra point gave the Bears a 13-0 with 6:07 to go in the first quarter.
Degraffenreaidt found pay dirt for the first time three minutes later on 12-yard run after the Bears benefited from good field position following a North Moore punt from its own end zone.
The Mustangs lost their second fumble on the night on their next possession, which gave the Bears the ball back on the North Moore 31. Eight plays later, Degraffenreaidt scored again, this time from nine-yards out, with 11:44 to go in the half. The PAT gave the CC a 19-0 lead.
Both offenses struggled for most of the second quarter until Edwards connected with Lyons for a 36-yard touchdown as time expired.
After a fumble ended North Moore’s first drive of the second half, the ’Stang defense forced Chatham to go three and out. The North Moore offense got things clicking on the next drive, with Brower, Tyler Wallace and Darius Greene each making strong runs. Brower finished off the drive with his 3-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion attempt failed.
Chatham Central’s last touchdown came with 2:58 to go in the quarter when Childress scored on an 8-yard run.
The Bears attempted a field goal in the fourth quarter, but it was blocked. North Moore’s T.J. Kennedy returned the loose ball 53 yards to the Bear 31, sparking the offense. A defensive pass interference call moved North Moore into the red zone, and on second down, Barrett made a nice diving grab of a tipped pass from Scotton.
Friday’s game completed Simmons’ first regular season as the Mustangs’ head coach.
“I hope we say that this was a building block,” he said of the season, “but regardless, we’re going to go back to work and we’re going to fix the problems in the offseason and we’re going to do what you need to do to build a program. We’ll see if it works.”
With the win it gained from a West Montgomery forfeit, North Moore could make the state playoffs. Simmons said he expected to get official word on Saturday.
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