SPORTS >Cabot North controls clock, knocks off South
By RAY BENTON
Leader sports editor
Cabot Junior High North met Cabot Junior High South Thursday night to open the 2006 season, and christened the new field turf with its first official regular-season game.
It turned into Northís running game against Southís surprising pass threat, and it was the old style that prevailed as North won 20-12.
Northís big fullback Spencer Neumann was too much for South to handle in the first half. He carried the ball sparingly in the second half, but the North defense held strong, giving up a pair of big pass plays, but limited Southís ability to sustain drives.
Neumann carried 11 times for 128 yards and a touchdown in the first half, and finished with 14 carries for 133 yards.
North got the ball first after covering a surprise on-side kick to start the game. The home Panthers drove 31 yards in seven plays to take a 6-0 lead.
South then went on its best drive of the game, but failed to score. The South Panthers went 50 yards in 11 plays, but failed to convert fourth and one at the North 15-yard line.
North then drove 85 yards with some big runs by Neumann and the help of a personal-foul penalty on South for a late hit. Neumann capped the drive with a 20-yard run in which he broke three tackles to cross the goal line.
South started going backwards on its second drive. After starting at the North 40, a run for minus five yards, a holding penalty and a negative 2-yard run left them with third and 27 from the 23. Thatís when quarterback Joseph Bryant hit receiver Powell Bryant down the right sideline for a 77-yard scoring strike with 1:43 left in the half.
That score stood until halftime, and North got the ball back to start the third quarter. North started at its own 31, and used 15 plays and nine minutes and 14 seconds before finally scoring with 6:46 left in the game.
Halfback Jared Maxwell completed the drive with a 3-yard plunge to make it 20-6.
South again lost four yards on its opening play of the half from the 39-yard line.
But again, Bryant hit Bryant for 46 yards to set up first down at the North 19.
A 2-yard run and two incomplete passes set up fourth and 8, but Joseph Bryant improvised on another pass play. The quarterback rolled left looking for an open receiver, but found lots of running room. He tucked and ran and made it to the end zone to cut his teamís deficit to 20-12 with 4:37 left.
South covered an on-side kick and took over on Northís 49, but couldnít convert a first down. A sack by Matt Bayles left North with fourth and 15, and Seth Bloomberg intercepted the fourth-down pass.
North ran five plays to run out the clock and seal the win.
North compiled 264 total yards while South totaled 182.
Northís Michael James was the gameís second-leading rusher. He finished with 14 carries for 71 yards and a touchdown.
Both teams will play Conway next week. North will travel and play Conway White, while South will host Conway Blue.
In other freshmen games, the Jacksonville schools struggled through their first games of the season. North Pulaski lost 35-8 to Lonoke while Jacksonville fell 35-0 to Lake Hamilton.