SOUTH FORK 2A ROUNDUP: North Lincoln pounds N-C, remains tied for first place

Published Sunday, October 21st, 2018

North Lincoln High defensive back Daniel Carter (22) tries to wrap up Newton-Conover running back Allen Wilfong (22) during Friday night’s game at North Lincoln. Wilfong ran for 150 yards but the Knights rolled 47-19 to remain tied for first place with Bandys in South Fork 2A football./PHOTO COURTESY OF OBSERVER NEWS ENTERPRISE

Ly kicks two field goals, one as time expires, as Maiden nips East Lincoln


Editor’s note: A story on the Bandys at West Lincoln game — and game summary — are posted separately on the website.

LINCOLNTON – North Lincoln High broke open a close game with a big second half on Friday night, pounding visiting Newton-Conover 47-19 to remain tied for first place in South Fork 2A football.

Nick Bazzle, in his first season as head football coach at North Lincoln High, has the Knights in contention for a South Fork 2A title. Here’s a look at the Knights’ football history:
Year                               Record
2003                               1-11*
2004                               5-7*
2005                               6-6*
2006                               7-5*
2007                              10-4*
2008                               7-5*
2009                               1-10
2010                               2-9
2011                                1-10
2012                                3-8
2013                                4-7
2014                                5-6
2015                                3-8
2016                                2-9
2017                                2-9
2018                                7-2
TOTALS                    66-116
*–reached state playoffs
Previous head coaches
Lonnie Custer, 2003-2004
Matt Beam, 2005-2008
Scott Stilwell, 2009-2010
Zach Bevilacqua, 2011
Dave Manness, 2012-2016
Steven Pack, 2017
SOURCE: research and files.

The Knights (7-2, 5-0), riding 100-yard games by running backs Clayton Cribb and Jake Soorus, outscored the Red Devils 28-6 in the second half to get a win that keeps them atop the league with Bandys (8-1, 5-0).

Cribb ran 11 times for 111 yards and Soorus added 105 of 12 carries as North Lincoln head coach Nick Bazzle — head coach at Newton-Conover for 15 years earlier in his career – faced and beat his old school for the first time.

Newton-Conover’s first-year head coach, Steven Pack, left North Lincoln after one season to guide the Red Devils (4-5, 2-3).

North Lincoln led 19-13 at the half and scored twice in less than two minutes of the third quarter to increase that to 33-13.

Cribb ran 22 yards for a TD with nine minutes, 32 seconds left in the third quarter and quarterback Landon Beard had a 4-yard TD run with 7:49 left in the quarter.

Sam Brady (55 yards) and Soorus (4 yards) has TD runs for North Lincoln after the Red Devils had pulled within 30-19.

“I’m glad it’s over,” Bazzle told The Lincoln Times News after the game. “There were two games on my schedule this year that I was not looking forward to playing and one was Alexander Central because my son is the offensive coordinator there, and then this one.

“So now that these two emotional games – at least we have a split, at least we didn’t go 0’fer – but yeah, I’m just glad it’s over now and move on to the next one.”

Newton-Conover had 370 yards on offense, 150 of it rushing by Allen Wilfong and quarterback Justice Craig threw for 218, completing 16 of 24 passes.

The Knights’ scoring included a 95-yard kickoff return by Jacob Cline that erased the Red Devils’ 7-6 lead in the second quarter.

“Coming into this one, I knew they (Newton-Conover) could strike quick,” Bazzle told The Lincoln Times News. “If you match us up athlete for athlete, we don’t match up with what they have.

“But one thing we do have over here that I’m super proud of is heart. Our kids just play hard and they just don’t quit. They’re going to fight and fight until the end.

“You see we’re not very big. We’re tall but not very big. There’s a difference there.”

North Lincoln — 2-9 last year and with nine straight losing seasons — is contending for its first conference varsity football title. The Knights are three wins away from matching the best record (10-4 in 2007) in school history.

This Friday’s league games include North Lincoln at Lincolnton and Maiden visiting Newton Conover, both kicking off at 7:30 p.m.

If North Lincoln and Bandys both win on Friday, the Trojans’ visit to North Lincoln on Nov. 2 will decide the conference title.

Maiden 13, East Lincoln 10

DENVER, N.C. — Casey Ly kicked two field goals over the final 7 ½ minutes — his first of the season — as Maiden completed a rally to pull into a three-way tie for fourth place in the South Fork 2A.

Ly’s 24-yard field goal with 7:04 to play tied it 10-all and his game-winner came from 29 yards as time expired.

East Lincoln (4-5, 2-3) built an early 10-0 lead via Ethan Martin’s 2-yard TD run and a 20-yard field goal by Jackson Seller.

Maiden (6-3, 2-3) got within 10-7 when Dylan Abernathy caught a 31-yard scoring pass from Caleb McDaniel, who went under center after Bain Sipe sustained a shoulder injury.

Sipe, who came in with (unofficially) 1,685 passing yards, completed seven of 12 for 94 yards and was intercepted twice. McDaniel completed seven of eight passes for 91 yards and also ran for 30 yards.

East Lincoln quarterback Chase Jones threw for 99 yards, completing 12 of 19 throws and increasing his (unofficial) season total to 1,268.

The Blue Devils outgained the Mustangs 276-112, holding East Lincoln to 23 rushing yards.

Maiden ran 69 plays to East Lincoln’s 42.

Maiden head coach Will Byrne picked up his 25th career victory (25-8, third season) as the Blue Devils won at East Lincoln for the first time in their last five visits.

Next up for Maiden is a league game Friday at 7:30 p.m. at archrival Newton-Conover.

East Lincoln meets West Lincoln on the road Friday at 7:30 p.m. in a conference game.

East Lincoln, Maiden and Newton-Conover share fourth place, each a game back of third-place West Lincoln.

Lincolnton 27, Lake Norman Charter 0

HUNTERSVILLE – The Wolves held the Knights to 40 yards of offense, and James Woods ran for 113 yards and two scores as Lincolnton moved out of last place in the conference.

The Wolves (2-7, 1-4) had eight sacks on defense, and Dajzay Powell had two interceptions as they dropped the Knights (2-7, 0-5) into last place.

Woods had 15 carries and scored on two of them – on runs of 17 and 28 yards – and Caden Wyatt and Bernard Wingate each added a scoring run.

Lincolnton’s win means it will have at least one conference victory, leaving its 1985 team (0-10, 0-5 Big Six 3A) as the only one that didn’t win in conference play in records dating back to 1974.

The Wolves, who snapped a four-game losing streak, plays North Lincoln at Lincolnton on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. in a conference battle.

Lake Norman Charter’s losing streak is at six as it heads to Bandys on Friday night (7:30 p.m. for a conference game).

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