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Concord defeats Kannapolis Brown 20-14

By Joe Habina
Correspondent

CONCORD Concord’s defense may have been worn down by spending most of the second half on the field Friday, but the Spiders had enough energy to make a stop on the game’s final play to secure a 20-14 victory against Kannapolis A.L. Brown.

With 17.7 seconds left in the game, the Wonders had a first down at Concord’s 1. Junior Sandon McCoy, who had 25 of his 31 carries in the second half, was stopped inches from the goal line, and time ran out before the Wonders could run another play.

Concord defeated Brown for the third straight year, marking the first time since the mid-1970s the Spiders won the coveted Bell Game three consecutive seasons. Concord leads the heated Cabarrus County rivalry 42-38-4.

The Spiders built a 20-7 halftime lead but Brown dominated the second half. However, the Wonders didn’t have much to show for it.

Brown’s time of possession in the second half (15:47) almost doubled that of Concord (8:13). Daveon Perry scored on a 2-yard run with five minutes, one second left in the third quarter to pull to 20-14, but the Wonders’ fourth quarter was marked by missed opportunities.

The Wonders reached the Concord 11 but couldn’t convert a fourth-down pass early in the fourth quarter. Rocky Reid, Concord’s all-state running back, made a momentum-changing tackle at linebacker when he dropped McCoy for a 3-yard loss on third down.

The Wonders’ next possession ended at the Spiders’ 26 when a halfback option pass fell incomplete on fourth down.

Brown’s final possession started at its 35 with 3:52 remaining. The Wonders converted two third downs and a fourth down to keep the drive alive.

With 23.5 seconds left, quarterback Damon Johnson completed a 14-yard pass to Dyquan St. Louis, but he was forced out of bounds at the 1. McCoy was stopped short of the goal line on the next play.

McCoy finished with 138 yards, including 121 in the second half. Reid had a game-high 147 yards on 24 rushes, but he carried only seven times for 19 yards in the second half.

The Wonders’ defense did not allow a first down in the second half. It held Concord to 7 yards after halftime.

Quarterback Keenan Black’s creativity led to Concord’s opening score. On first down at Brown’s 25, Black evaded a heavy rush and pulled up just in front of the line of scrimmage.

Black spotted tight end Drew Yoos who made a leaping catch at the 5 and scored easily. Marisa James made her first of two extra points for a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.

Black ran for a 3-yard score early in the second quarter, and Reid rambled for a 56-yard touchdown with 4:03 left in the first half. Sandwiched in between was Johnson’s 24-yard touchdown pass to Casey Walker to pull Brown to 14-7.

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