Saturday, December 1, 2012

Havelock beats Concord for 3A title

WINSTON-SALEM – Havelock used a strong second half to win the 3A state championship by defeating Concord 55-21 Saturday night.

The title is the second straight for the Rams (15-1).

Havelock was first to strike on a Pharoh Cooper 2-yard quarterback keeper, which capped off the Rams’ 75-yard opening drive.

Down 7-0 after the first quarter, the Spiders (13-3) started gaining momentum.

Quarterback B.J. Beecher, who passed for 267 yards on 22-of-36 passing, led the way for Concord in the second quarter by passing for all three of his Spiders’ touchdowns.

Beecher found Alex Asbury, who made a lateral flick to Zosh Heilig for a 30-yard score, to tie the game.

After forcing the Rams to punt, Beecher led the Spiders on an 88-yard drive. The 6-foot-6 senior quarterback capped off the drive with a 37-yard pass to sophomore running back Rocky Reid.

Recovering the ball on a Havelock fumble on the ensuing kickoff, the Spiders seemed to have the momentum on their side despite missing their second extra-point attempt.

But Cooper, also a safety, intercepted Beecher and ran it back 87 yards for a touchdown to get his team within one after a failed PAT.

With 4:07 left in the half, Beecher orchestrated a 72-yard drive that concluded in a 21-yard pass from the Shrine Bowl-bound quarterback to Jerry Burk.

A Logan Sedergren 2-point conversion gave the Spiders a 21-14.

Cooper, the game’s most valuable player after accounting for 146 yards and three touchdowns, led the Rams on a 65-yard scoring drive.

Cooper had two runs – for 28 and 26 yards – before finding Harry Caldwell for an 11-yard touchdown.

Havelock coach Jim Bob Bryant said he made adjustments, including putting six defensive backs on the field to slow down Beecher, after trailing 21-20 at halftime.

“I told them we had 24 minutes left to play,” he said. “We were either going to be the first-place team in the state of the first-place loser.”

Havelock responded, scoring off fumbles in the first two Spider possessions of the half to regain the lead.

“That was a big momentum switch,” said Bryant.

Concord coach Glen Padgett said the two turnovers to start the half changed the game.

“When you play a team with a lot of speed like that, it’s hard to play from behind,” he said.

A.J. Coplon recovered both fumbles, returning the first 61 yards for a touchdown. The Rams found the end zone, on a 2-yard Derrell Scott run, after starting their drive at Concord’s 47-yard line. That increased their lead to 14.

Havelock would add three more touchdowns in the fourth quarter to put the game away.