Firebirds maul White Oak 58-7

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STANHOPE — Host Southern Nash unleashed a deluge of touchdowns and defensive intensity as the Firebirds clobbered Jacksonville White Oak 58-7 in the final nonconference varsity football game Friday night.

Southern Nash, ranked No. 8 in The Associated Press 3-A poll this week, climbed to 5-1 while the 3-A Coastal Conference Vikings stumbled to 1-6. The 3-A Big East Conference Firebirds led 51-0 at the half with 174 total offensive yards while holding White Oak to minus 14 yards. The Vikings finished with 72 yards, 48 coming on quarterback Edward Anthony’s touchdown run with 10 minutes left in the game.

Junior Zonovan Knight ran for 110 yards on just four carries, two carrying him into the end zone on runs of 14 and 42 yards. Senior Kendrick Bell was only slightly less effective with 107 yards and three TDs on just seven carries. The Firebirds racked up 253 yards on the ground and the only pass attempted by quarterback Jyronn Brinkley was a 22-yard TD toss to senior tight end Damian Orloff in the first quarter. Brinkley, who had a 13-yard TD run for Southern Nash’s first score, started in place of senior Lorenzo Sessoms, who missed the game for medical reasons.

Kelvin Whitaker plunged into the end zone from a yard out with seven minutes to go in the third quarter for the Firebirds’ only second-half points.

Sophomore Quinton Cooley racked up several long punt returns, including a 59-yarder, to help the Firebirds’ cause. Another one of 55 yards for a TD was called back due to a penalty as the Firebirds only negative on the night was being whistled eight times for 95 yards.

Southern Nash, ranked eighth among North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3-A teams by MaxPreps.com, is off next week and will visit Fike on Oct. 6 to kick off Big East play.