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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Football | QB leads air attack, outpaces Irmo ball control philosophy

Posted on Sat, Nov. 17, 2007

Note to the Northwestern faithful hanging around Rock Hill Friday night: The Trojans’ Air Raid offense works well on the road, too.

“They’re pretty good,” said Irmo coach Bob Hanna after Northwestern took a convincing 42-24 playoff victory against the Yellow Jackets Friday night at W.C. Hawkins Stadium. “They had a lot of good receivers; we couldn’t match up, and they took advantage of it.”

Northwestern quarterback Will King, overlooked by both the Shrine Bowl and North-South game selection committees, put forth an effort worthy of inclusion on either roster.

King, a 5-11, 155 pound senior, completed 22 of 33 passes for 353 yards and six touchdowns to pace the Trojans to their 12th win against a single loss this season. They go on to face Byrnes, which defeated Dorman 31-17, in the 4A Division 1 semifinals Friday.

King’s performance put him at 3,156 yards passing for the season, and his six touchdown passes gave 41 for the year.
“We have to be happy,” said Northwestern coach Jimmy “Moose” Wallace. “I have all the respect in the world for Irmo because they’re a good team. But these kids exceeded everyone’s expectations but their own.”

The 12-1 mark was far better than most would have predicted of a team that finished 6-6 last year, but then Wallace re-took the reins of a program he left two years ago.

“Our offense played well,” Wallace said. “They (Irmo) ran the ball well, but we knew that coming in. We’re just proud of our football team.”

The respective game plans showed a basic difference in coaching philosophy, and Friday night the run-and-shoot, wide-open attack held sway.

An Irmo fumble on the opening drive set the tone. Northwestern took four plays the fourth a 25-yard scoring strike from Hill to David Moore to show Irmo it had no intention of exchanging body blows with the Jackets’ ball-control offense. They were going for haymakers on every down.

“Maybe that was the difference,” Wallace said. “We could score a little faster than they could. We were hoping our defense could make some stops, and they did there in the first half. But we knew 21-7, 21-10 wasn’t enough.”

King spread the wealth. Along with Moore, Labris Adams (12 yards), Tyson Barnette (22), and Coradelle Patterson (16), all caught one touchdown pass, and Jarrett Neely caught two (24-42).

Irmo’s ground-oriented attack featured sophomore Mustafa Green all season, and he got most of the calls and nearly all of the positive rushing yardage but it was not enough. Green carried the ball 35 times for 182 yards, but starting quarterback Levander Barney (25) and his backup Brian Hill (8) could not make up the difference.

Green scored on a 9-yard run to tie it at 7-7 in the opening period, but that was as close as the Jackets would get.
Tanner Douglas kicked a 32 yard field goal in the second quarter to cut it to 21-10 at the half, but the Jackets couldn’t get any closer.

Northwestern    7       14      6       15 42
Irmo    7       3       7       7
First quarter
N David Moore 25 pass from Will King (Shawn Ferguson kick)
I Mustafa Green 9 run (Tanner Douglas kick)
Second quarter
N Labris Adams 12 pass from King (Ferguson kick)
N Jarrett Neely 24 pass from King (Ferguson kick)
I Douglas 32 field goal
Third quarter
N Tyson Barnette 22 pass from King (kick blocked)
I Green 1 run (Douglas kick)
Fourth quarter
N Cordarelle Patterson 16 pass from King (Patterson pass from Hill)
I Neal Strange 11 pass from Brian Hill (Douglas kick)
N Neely 42 pass from King (Ferguson kick)

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