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Nash Central football falls in overtime

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By ALLEN BRYANT
Telegram Correspondent

Friday, November 8, 2019

In near freezing temperatures, the Bulldogs of Nash Central High School looked to end their season on Friday on a good note and with a winning record.

The Panthers of North Johnston High School came in from Kenly looking for an upset and to also end their season on a good note. North Johnston (3-8, 2-3) did get that improbable win over Nash Central (5-6, 2-3) in overtime by a score of 27-26.

The Bulldogs entered the game being a statistical favorite looking to extend their winning streak against the Panthers as they defeated them 28-7 last year in Kenly. Nash Central’s record was not to be ignored as all their five losses came to the dominating top teams in their Eastern Plains Conference as well as old rivals from the Big East Conference.

In the end, the Bulldogs can look to the many mistakes made in the game as they look toward next season. Five turnovers by the Bulldogs did not help their chances of winning the game as the Panthers used those opportunities to capitalize on the scoreboard. One Bulldog turnover at the 27-yard line in their own territory led to a Camron Privette touchdown run for the Panthers on the very next play.

One of Nash Central’s leading rushers, Shemar Henderson, was excellent on the ground with a few big runs and a rushing touchdown. However, he and his team were not able to get it done in regulation as a 20-20 score extended the night.

The hero of the night turned out to be kicker Graham Walston for North Johnston. He was able to tie the score with a 45-yard field goal with only 13.6 seconds left in regulation. Walston was again given the opportunity to save his team in overtime. After a touchdown by the Bulldogs, kicker Landon Alford missed the extra point to give Nash Central the lead 26-20. Controversy ensued on the following drive as Panther quarterback Camden Aycock seemed to be stopped before breaking into the end zone on a fourth and goal play. After a discussion between the referees, the play was called a touchdown and Walston was able to win for the Panthers with an extra point.

The few in attendance from the opposing bleachers roared in a surprising victory as the home crowd fell to silence. North Johnston can end their ride home on a good note, while Nash Central must deal with the frigid sting of a home loss and the anticipation of next year.

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