Big second half leads Corinth Holders over Western Harnett
Corinth Holders (6-1, 1-0) used a second-half rally to pull away from Western Harnett (2-5, 0-1), 37-7, at home Friday night.
Despite outgaining Western Harnett 235 to 95 in the first half, Corinth Holders found itself tied with the Eagles at halftime.
Western Harnett used ball control to keep the Pirates’ offense off the field. After Corinth Holders scored on a 31-yard pass from Cole Sakowski to Dymon Walker on the game’s third play, Western Harnett ran the ball 14 times in a row, marching 79 yards in seven and a half minutes to tie the score.
Senior running back Laron Gilchrist gained 50 yards for Western Harnett on the drive, finishing it with a 33-yard touchdown run on 4th-and-2.
Western Harnett then kept the Pirates off the field a little longer by recovering an onside kick.
Corinth Holders ran a total of six plays in the first quarter, to Western Harnett’s 20. The Pirates were able to move the ball in the second quarter, but failed on fourth downs in the red zone on each of their three remaining possessions in the first half, turning the ball over on downs at the 12, 10 and 10.
The Pirates were able to make adjustments at halftime, holding Gilchrist to 12 yards on six second-half carries. He finished the game with 68 yards. Western Harnett gained just 81 yards on the ground in the second half.
Corinth Holders forced three-and-outs on four of Western Harnett’s first five possessions after halftime and got the Pirates’ offense the ball in Western Harnett territory on Corinth’s first four second-half possessions.
Western Harnett also finished the game with no passing yards, as quarterback Austin Speck didn’t complete any of his three passes. Pirates’ defensive back Adam Evans batted down one of Speck’s passes and intercepted another.
Corinth Holders found its red-zone rhythm in the second half, scoring three touchdowns in a span of less than four minutes in the third quarter.
Sakowski threw a pair of touchdown passes to Hampton Smith, and a 26-yard run by Tony Kirkwood set up a 1-yard plunge by Elliott Lindley to break the halftime tie and break open the game for the Pirates.
Sakowski was 19 of 28 passing for 248 yards and three touchdowns. Smith had five catches for 79 yards to lead the team.
On the ground, the Pirates were paced by Tori Carmicahel, who had 42 yards on five carries, and Darris Grandberry, who had 41 on nine.
Western Harnett saw its two-game winning streak end. The Eagles host Smithfield-Selma next Friday. Corinth Holders won its fifth straight and travels to South Johnston next week.