By: Anthony Perkins
Cramerton – The Stuart Cramer Storm (4-3, 2-2) posted their second conference win of the season in a Thursday night edition of Friday night football last evening.
Ashbrook (1-3, 1-2) gained the first advantage on their opening drive when fullback Carmelo Best put the Green Wave on the scoreboard with a dazzling 53-yard run with just over seven minutes remaining in the opening quarter but it was short lived. Just over a minute later the Storm answered with a touchdown of their own when Arias Nash scored on a four-yard run to knot the score at 7-7. The Storm then forced a three and out but the Green Wave punt was blocked by Markiss Nelson to give the Storm excellent field position at the Green Wave 13-yard line. After three plays the Storm had gained only one yard and lost five yards on a penalty and facing a third and goal from the seventeen Justin Rocquemore dropped back and tossed a dart to Damien Bentley in the back of the end-zone to push the Storm out to a 14-7 first quarter lead.
Midway through the second quarter Ashbrook scored their second touchdown on a 2-yard quarterback keeper by Chandler Meeks to cut the Storms lead to 14-13. Once again, Stuart Cramer’s Markiss Nelson got through the Ashbrook linemen to block the extra point attempt and preserve the Storms lead if only by a point. Justin Rocquemore and company went to work again and with less than two minutes remaining in the opening half posted his second touchdown pass on a 21-yard completion to Isaiah Johnson to give the Storm a little breathing room going into the half.
During the Homecoming half time festivities, Ms. Zareha McSwain was crowned as the 2012 Homecoming Queen for Sturt Cramer High School.
Play resumed in the second half with the Storm having the opening possession and they quickly took advantage of the opening possession by covering 65 yards in five plays to push their advantage to 28-13. The drive was capped off with another Rocquemore to Johnson aerial connection, this time for 21 yards. Ashbrook controlled most of the rest of the third quarter but on Ashbrook’s next drive the Stuart Cramer defense held them out of the end-zone after they had advanced the ball to the Storms ten-yard line. The Green Wave went to work again after their defense forced a three and out for the Storm and with just less than two minutes left in the third quarter the Green Wave cut the margin to 20-28 when Meeks hit Diego Godinez for an 18-yard touchdown pass.
Ashbrook tried again in the fourth quarter to hopefully cut into the lead and maybe even tie the game on a two-point conversion but the Storms defense would have none of that and Ashbrook never advanced the ball beyond their own 40-yard line. Kicker Nick Wilson added a 21-yard insurance field goal for the Storm with about a minute to play for the 31-20 final score.
After the game coach Ben McMillan was asked what he thought made the difference in the game. He said, “Tonight it took a little of something from everybody to win, the defense played great and came up some big stops deep on our side of the field, the offense put together some great drives and those two blocked kicks by Markiss Nelson made a big difference in the game.”
Statistically the Green Wave came out on top in offensive yardage with 375 total yards compared to the Storms 298 yards. The Green Wave accumulated 247 rushing yards with 51 carries and Meeks went 11-18-0 in the passing department for another 128 yards. Stuart Cramer managed 160 yards rushing in only 33 carries and Rocquemore went 11-19-0 in their aerial attack for 138 yards. Both teams moved the chains fifteen times, Cramer was penalized 9 times for 70 yards and Ashbrook 7 times for 44 yards and both teams lost one fumble.
Next week Stuart Cramer and Ashbrook will take to the road with Ashbrook traveling to South Point and Stuart Cramer will visit Kings Mountain.