Delay, Byrd’s speed zaps Lumberton
by By Brad Crawford
FAYETTEVILLE — Bryan Carpenter got loose behind the defense and found the football on the receiving end of a 77-yard touchdown strike from Will Everette on Lumberton’s second play from scrimmage Friday night at Douglas Byrd.
Minutes later after the Eagles countered with a score of their own, a 105-minute lightning delay forced players, coaches and fans to exit the stadium.
When the teams returned, Lumberton’s execution faltered on both sides of the football over the next three quarters in Joe Salas’ first game as coach, a 44-14 thumping inside Bob Paroli Stadium.
“In those situations, one team’s going to come out with a huge advantage and one’s going to come out flat,” Salas said after his team managed just 75 yards of offense over the final 44 snaps following the delay. “And it’s usually going to be the mature team taking advantage of that. What that showed was, we’re not mature yet.”
After scoring Byrd’s first touchdown on a 36-yard broken-tackle scamper, senior tailback Alonzo Hurtado added two more touchdowns in a second quarter that seemed to suck the life out of Lumberton’s defense. Hurtado finished with 137 yards on 13 carries and was a threat in the passing game with 66 receiving yards.
Numerous times, it appeared the Pirates had the 5-foot-4 zig-zagger stopped at the point of contact before he slithered away for big gains.
“There’s only about 130 pounds of him, but it’s a bunch of little tiny bowling balls in there,” Byrd coach Russell Stone said.
Byrd’s defensive line managed three sacks and dropped Lumberton ballcarriers behind the line of scrimmage five times after Lumberton’s Josh Sheridan picked up consecutive first downs on handoffs late in the opening quarter.
By the time the Pirates took over on their second possession of the third quarter following a three-and-out the previous the drive, the deficit had already swelled to 23 points.
“They had a lot of guys starting for the first time tonight, but we did too,” Stone said. “I didn’t have but two guys returning on offense, our center and Hurtado who was a wide receiver last year. We’re really pleased to come out of this thing with pretty good execution.”
In his first start in Lumberton’s new-look, uptempo offense, Everett finished with 128 yards passing and a late interception. Team captain and middle linebacker Demetri Sheridan made a game-high 16 tackles.
“Demetri’s an all-state caliber player, but he’d be the first to say he’s not happy with our team’s performance,” Salas said. “We all can get better. That’s why we practice.”
Quarterback Elijah Bulger, a lockdown corner as a junior, flourished in his first appearance in the shotgun as the facilitator of Byrd’s attack. He tallied 186 yards of total offense, threw a touchdown pass and ran for another. Bulger was a constant threat with an ability to get on the edge and make plays for the Eagles.
“Elijah was a field general tonight,” Stone said. “He got the ball, spreaded it around and did a good job pitching it.”
Lumberton’s opener was moved to Fayetteville 10 hours prior to kickoff when school officials deemed the Pirates’ field too saturated for play.
Reach staff writer Brad Crawford at 910-272-6119 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MrPalmettoSDS or by using the hashtag #ROBCOFB for daily updates.
Douglas Byrd 44, Lumberton 14
Lumberton 7 0 0 7 — 14
Douglas Byrd 6 17 14 7 — 44
LHS — Bryan Carpenter 77 pass from Will Everette (Dylan Scott kick)
DB — Alonzo Hurtado 36 run (pass failed)
DB — Hurtado 3 run (Alex Brantley run)
DB — Safety, Everette tackled in end zone
DB — Hurtado 3 run (Omar Torres kick)
DB — Elijah Bulger 2 run (Torres kick)
DB — Dana Dudley 2 pass from Bulger (Torres kick)
DB — Alex Brantley 7 run (Torres kick)
LHS — Josh Sheridan 1 run (Scott kick)
RUSHING: LHS — Sheridan 7-28, Rodney Henderson 1-12, Gilbert Huggins 4-10, Everette 8-(-5), Austin Foley 1-(-7), Robert Andrews 2-(-14). DB — Hurtado 13-137, Bulger 8-58, Alex Brantley 7-33, Raheem Generette 3-29, Jose Sanchez 1-26, Byron Cousin 2-16, Quan Odom 3-7, Khalil Ashali 2-7.
PASSING: LHS — Everette 11-21-1, 128; Foley 0-1-0, 0. DB — Bulger 13-23-1, 128.
RECEIVING: LHS — Stefon Greene 5-24, Carpenter 3-80, Huggins 1-7, Jashon Davis 1-3. DB - Hurtado 6-66, Dudley 2-15, Tre Moses 1-21, Torres 1-12, Odom 1-7, Sanchez 1-5, Generette 1-2.
RECORDS: Lumberton 0-1, Douglas Byrd 1-0
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