WHITEVILLE — First snap of the game rolled out of the reach of the quarterback in shotgun formation.
A sequence bridging the first and second quarters included a touchdown, lost fumble on the kickoff return, touchdown, fumble lost on first down and another touchdown.
West Bladen’s 48-0 loss at Whiteville in Three Rivers Conference football Friday night was about as rough as it can go for the guests. The Wolfpack (4-1, 2-1 Three Rivers) stayed near the front in the league while West Bladen (1-4, 1-2 Three Rivers) was denied back-to-back wins in five days.
“They were good,” said Knights junior quarterback Tyre Boykin, held without a touchdown responsibility for the first time this season. “Their offense was very good. Our defense could have held them down better. On offense, the line did not block well and I didn’t make good passes. It’s all of us.”
Boykin has had either running or throwing responsibility for all 13 Knights’ scores this year. The Wolfpack proved ready, limiting him to 20 yards passing on 3-for-11 accuracy and 80 yards on 17 rushes.
The elusive junior did peel off runs of 30, 28, 21 and 12 yards, but too often the Wolfpack was close if not in his tracks.
“They put an extra man there, and knew where I was going,” Boykin said.
Second-year head coach Kris Williams said the Wolfpack, in doing so, offered no surprises.
“Defensively, they didn’t do anything we didn’t think they would,” he said. “They have top-notch talent and speed. That makes it harder to create something. And they’ve got great defensive coaches over there.
“We just shot ourselves in the foot. The bad snap on the first play of the game — it’s hard to recover.”
He lamented penalties (seven for 72 yards), including one bringing back a long pass play. Two fumbles were lost. Whiteville scored on its first five possessions and amassed 376 yards.
Even some of the Knights’ best work was not by design.
Junior Shemaiah Leak intercepted a toss-pass gadget play, then did push-ups on the sideline for being out of position on the play.
Facing fourth down at the 25-yard-line, Brandon Strange decided to fake a punt and ran 71 yards to the Whiteville 4 with 16 seconds left before intermission. He never punted again, and the Knights just barely got a play off before the horn, unaware the clock behind them began running after the first down marker was set.
Moss ran 1 and 6 yards for scores and threw 45 yards to Elijah Henderson for another. Jvonte Davis had scoring runs of 2, 22 and 39 yards, with K.J. Hall adding a 13-yarder.
Davis’ second score gave Whiteville a 21-0 lead with 1:10 left in the first quarter. West Bladen’s fumble of the kickoff was converted by Moss’ second scoring run. Boykin was blindsided from behind by Kornelius Williams on the next snap, popping the ball loose for Camrahn Jamison to recover.
Hall’s score upped the lead to 35-0 with 11:08 left before halftime.
“We were losing at halftime, and they just shut down and gave up,” Boykin said. “We could have gotten back into the game.”
Instead, the state association’s mercy rule — a 42-point difference — was initiated 52 seconds into the third period.
Williams said the Knights will “move on” from the misfortune.
“I told them we’ll move on, put this game in the trash, learn from our mistakes and come back Monday and get better.”
Tyre Boykin scrambles for yardage Friday night in a 48-0 loss to Whiteville.
Tra’shawn Ballard barrels into the red zone Friday night at Whiteville.
Alan Wooten can be reached at 910-247-9132 or email@example.com. Twitter: @alanwooten19.