NCSsD football ends season on 3-game winning streak

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Revenge may be a dish best served cold, as the adage says, but the suddenly sizzling North Carolina Schools for the Deaf eight-player football team once again ladled out some retribution that was as piping hot as the Bear-Hornets have become.

The resurgent NCSsD squad celebrated a postponed homecoming at Eastern N.C. School for the Deaf on Saturday with a 52-34 victory over Georgia School for the Deaf, ending the season on a three-game winning streak with two of those victories coming against teams that had waylaid the Bear-Hornets during their 0-3 start to the season.

“We are real proud of the turnaround of this team,” said co-head coach Leonard Baker of ENCSD. “We really struggled in the first two games but kept improving and the team got more cohesive and finished the year strong.”

NCSsD lost its first three games by a combined score of 166-78, including a 40-14 defeat at Georgia SD in the second game. A 76-52 loss at South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind followed before a 34-28 overtime win against Louisiana School for the Deaf on the N.C. School for the Deaf campus in Morganton on Oct. 11 jump-started the longest winning streak since the two North Carolina schools combined forces in 2012.

“We got off to a good start Saturday which was important against a team that had defeated us earlier in the season,” Baker said. “We got important contributions from our whole team; truly a team win.”

The Bear-Hornets went to the air on their first possession as Jeremiah Deans found Luis Vargas for a 49-yard touchdown pass less than two minutes into the game.

Later in the first quarter, Alfonza Robinson, who ran in the two-point conversion after the first TD, breezed 78 yards for another score. With Deans handling the two-point run, NCSsD led 16-8.

Georgia responded with a 45-yard TD run by Demarco Brown, who had a game-high 266 yards on 23 rushes, to cut the lead in half by halftime.

But the Bear-Hornets came charging out for the second, scoring 22 straight points to seize control of the contest. Deans had a 54-yard TD run and two-point conversion, followed by Vargas’ 13-yard scoring scamper and two-point conversion before Robinson capped the outburst with a 10-yard TD trot and a 38-8 lead.

After Georgia, which finished 2-3, tried to get back in it with a pair of Jeremiah Green TD runs, Deans, who led NCSsD with 218 yards on 24 carries, retaliated with a 52-yard TD jaunt.

Another GSD touchdown in the fourth quarter was answered by Robinson’s 70-yard kickoff return into the end zone for the Bear-Hornets’ final score.

Robinson finished with 119 yards on 13 rushes while Vargas led the Bear-Hornets defense with 14 tackles.