CONCORD – On a crisp night that felt like playoff football is around the corner, the Cream of Cabarrus fifth-ranked Central Cabarrus football team punched its ticket to the postseason with a 44-7 victory at Jay M. Robinson Friday night.
Allowing the Bulldogs only 80 yards from scrimmage and with constant pressure on quarterback Kam Robinson, the Vikings defense dominated with nine tackles for loss and two interceptions returned for touchdowns.
Jasaan Rogers-Freeman nabbed the first “Pick-6” in the second quarter for a 19-yard score, and Nehemiah Williams added a back-breaking 59-yard interception return for a score in the third quarter.
“Defensively, I thought Logan Anderson had a great game for us, Brooks Lawing did a great job, and Native Johnson did as well,” Vikings coach Kenneth McClamrock said after the game.
“Of course, (Williams) was all over the place tonight, and I thought Kevin Clerge played a really good game at corner(back).”
It was a defensive struggle early, with neither team scoring until near the end of the first quarter.
The Bulldogs started the game with an impressive nine-play drive with Kam Robinson getting completions to Zimuzo Ozodigwe, Sean Hughes Jr. and Joshua Grant Jr. They had good field position through most of the first quarter but couldn’t find the end zone.
“We had some momentum early but weren’t able to score there at the beginning and never really found our groove tonight,” Bulldog coach Rich Williams said.
But once the scoring started for the Vikings with a 14-yard quarterback draw by Dajon Johnson after a 12-play drive to close out the first quarter, Central was off to the races, scoring twice more before halftime to lead 24-0 at the break.
Jay M. Robinson finished a difficult season with a 10-game losing streak.
“I thought our kids continued to play hard throughout the game and throughout the whole year,” Williams said. “We only dressed 30 guys tonight and have 13 seniors, so if my math’s right, that’s 17 guys coming back (next year) that we are going to count on a lot.
“We are going to take a little break and re-evaluate everything and redo everything that we can to be more successful next year.”
After a 31-6 loss to Cox Mill last week, McClamrock was glad to see his club return to form heading into the playoffs.
“I thought our offensive line did a good job, and Solomon (Faulkner) ran the ball extremely well,” McClamrock said. “Of course, Nemo made some big catches, and having (Johnson) back at quarterback was a spark for our offense as well.”
Central Cabarrus 7-4 overall, 3-2 Southern Piedmont 3A Conference; Jay M. Robinson 1-10, 0-5
THE PLAY OF THE GAME
In the second quarter, on first-and-10 from the Bulldogs 43-yard-line, Johnson dropped back to pass and was swarmed by a host of Jay M. Robinson defenders. He scrambled right, then ran to his left, making four Bulldogs miss, and ripped a Patrick Mahomes-like, side-arm bullet to Rogers-Freeman for a 16-yard first down.
Jay M. Robinson
--Even under significant pressure all night, quarterback Kam Robinson looked good throwing the ball, especially in the first half, and had what was a sure touchdown dropped in the end zone.
-- Grant Jr. was the most productive offensive player for the Bulldogs, with 55 rushing and receiving combined yards and several strong runs on sweeps.
-- Defensively, linebacker Andre Hamilton and lineman Tyler Perkins played tough against the run. Hamilton also had the Bulldogs’ only score on a bruising. 1-yard plunge.
--With an 83-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, a 59-yard interception return for a score and a 15-yard TD catch, Williams was clearly the player of the game for the Vikings.
-- Johnson was 7-for-12 passing for 72 yards and a touchdown, and he also added a rushing score.
-- Faulkner had 16 rushes for 89 yards and a touchdown.
-- Defensively, Johnson, Anderson, Lawing and Nate Frazier were consistently in the Bulldogs’ backfield, while Clerge and DeAndre Boykins were excellent in the secondary all evening.
-- Central scored three easy two-point conversions from a trick play formation that had Jay M. Robinson confused each attempt.
-- The Vikings offensive line consistently opened huge holes and controlled the line of scrimmage. Faulkner could have rushed for significantly more yardage if it weren’t for the big-play capability of the Central defense.
-- The Vikings clearly weren’t at full strength as Boykins didn’t play on offense, and quarterback/tight end Blue Monroe was limited as well.
WHAT’S UP NEXT?
Jay M. Robinson finished its season, while Central Cabarrus awaits its first-round playoff matchup.
Central Cabarrus 8 16 14 6 -- 44
J.M. Robinson 0 0 7 0 -- 7
CC – Dajon Johnson 14 run (Noah Coley run)
CC – Nehemiah Williams 15 pass from Dajon Johnson (DeAndre Boykins run)
CC – Jasaan Rogers-Freeman 15 interception return (Coley run)
CC – Williams 83 kickoff return (Josh Mayren kick)
JMR – Andre Hamilton 1 run (Braden Hamilton kick)
CC – Williams 59 interception return (Mayren kick)
CC – Solomon Faulkner 6 run (kick failed)