Posted: November 22, 2008
Fourth Quarter Rally Lifts Devils Over Jackets
From the start of the game, it looked like it would be a scoring shoot-out the entire game. The Red Devils got on the board early with a Dorian Jones 24-yard run for a touchdown. Bessemer City’s D.J. Parker returned the ensuing kick-off 80 yards for a touchdown. The extra point gave the Yellow Jackets a 7-6 lead. The Red Devils would not except it. Dorian Jones returned a kick-off of his own and put the Red Devils up 12-7. The two-point conversion failed, however.
That would be it for the first quarter. However, the scoring picked back up in the second quarter. Josh Thompson extended the Red Devils’ lead to 19-7 with a two-yard run. Bessemer City would close that gap before the half was over with a Xavier Logan seven-yard pass to D.J. Parker. The Red Devils led 19-14 at half-time.
The defenses would stiffen in the third quarter. Both teams even had one interception a piece in the third quarter. However, the Jackets would break the ice and snatch the lead early in the fourth quarter with an Aaron Rainey 48-yard run for a touchdown. The score was 21-19.
But everything snowballed downhill for the Yellow Jackets after that. The Red Devils scored 29 unanswered points in just less than 10 minutes of play. First Dorian Jones punches another one in from the two-yard line. A.J. Bazzle’s two-point run made it 27-21 Red Devils. That was only the beginning.
An interception thrown from Yellow Jacket QB Logan to Newton-Conover defender Aubrey Farley set up another Newton Conover score. Josh Thompson punched in another score from the one-yard line. Dorian Jones’s run for a two-point conversion made it 35-21. Jordan Hill got an interception of his own for the Red Devils and returned it to the Yellow Jackets’ two-yard line. A.J. Bazzle would punch in six more points for Newton-Conover with a nine-yard touchdown run. A few plays later, Shane Corpening picked off a Yellow Jackets pass and took it 54-yards for another score. The final score would be 48-21.
The Yellow Jackets had five turnovers while the Red Devils had two.
“These kids don’t ever quit. Even when it got down to 10 seconds, these kids aren’t going to quit and that’s what makes them so special. They are not going to quit no matter what.” Bessemer City head coach Larry Boone said
Referring to the interception in the third quarter “Our defense has made plays all year. They gave us the ball back and we’d get it down there and we’d stall out. Our defense has been big all year.”
Boone, regarding the offense, said “(Logan, Rainey and Parker) are big playmakers. Anytime they touch it, anything can happen. (Jonathan Sellers) stepped up and made some big catches and (Terrance Dawkins). The run wasn’t there some and the pass was there. We were bounced out tonight, we missed some opportunities. Against a good team like Newton-Conover, you got to take advantage of everything. We just let some squander away from us.”
Newton-Conover head coach Nick Bazzle said regarding Newton-Conover’s fourth quarter defensive rally “I didn’t know the defense was going to give us points like they gave us. That was the big surprise.”
“The biggest drive of the game was that fourth-quarter drive.” Bazzle said of his teams drive that gave the Red Devils the 27-21 lead “When they went up 21-19 and we marched down the field and punched it in and got the two-point conversion, that was one of the biggest plays of the game.”
“That’s one the best offensive teams we’ve seen all year.” Bazzle said of Bessemer City’s offense “They were balanced they could run and throw, had speed, big strong running-back and fullback.”
“When they went up 21-19, we all got kind of wide-eyed and realized this is not happening.” Red Devils QB A.J. Bazzell said “We are not allowing this to happen. We are not going out like this our Senior year. We got behind the trusted O-Line and executed and executed and ended up having a big margin of victory.”
Bazzell, son of head coach Nick Bazzle, has shown many similarities to former Red Devils’ QB Kurt Dukes. Dukes was the QB on the 2000 Newton-Conover team that was runner-up in the 2A State Championship.
“Kurt’s his idle. He saw Kurt when he was young.” Coach Bazzle said “He’s got a lot of things in common. One thing he doesn’t have is that 6-2 frame and he don’t bench press 400. But he works as hard.”
“He was a scary guy. He was not something you’d mess with.” A.J. Bazzle said of Kurt Dukes “That’s what I wanted to be like. I try to run like him and be like him as best as I can.”
Newton-Conover will play the winner of the Wilkes Central/Mount Heritage game. That game was postponed due to snow.