Road Warriors stop Bears, 14-0

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AHOSKIE — Opportunities were numerous.

The Hunt High varsity football team converted two of them and that was enough to claim a 14-0 nonconference victory against host Hertford County of the 2-A Northeastern Coastal Conference on Friday night.

The Warriors of third-year head coach Keith Byrum sustained drives in the second and fourth quarters to start 2-0 for the first time in Byrum’s tenure. Hunt of the 3-A Big East Conference has managed the feat with road wins against Eastern Wayne and the Bears — teams that defeated the Warriors last season. Hertford County dropped to 0-2.

Hunt launches its home season at 7 p.m. Friday against 3-A Greenville Rose of the 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference. The Rampants, losers to Hunt last season, are off to a 2-0 start.

“It definitely feels good,” Byrum acknowledged. “But we certainly can’t be satisfied. We have to do a better job of capitalizing on opportunities that have been given us. We haven’t won (the two games) in the fashion that we should have.”

Byrum said Hunt’s offense managed several forays into the red zone against the Bears.

The Warriors’ first TD drive covered some 30 yards and was culminated early in the second quarter with quarterback senior Nathan Lemons’ 2-yard sneak. Junior Tiquez Taylor added the two-point conversion,

Early in the fourth quarter, junior Zyquez Grooms slammed 11 yards for the second TD. Hunt unsuccessfully attempted to kick the extra point.

Byrum reported that the Bears threw the football well but, nonetheless, managed only one serious threat. Hunt’s defense held on downs.

Hailed was Taylor’s play in the secondary. Byrum said he had several deflections. Taylor was solidly complemented by cornerbacks Chris Artis, a junior, and senior Jihren Strickland and senior safety Shy Deberry, whose late interception sealed the outcome.

Leading the charge up front was 6-foot-2, 265-pound senior Christian Phaby. Byrum noted Phaby registered at least three sacks and even more tackles for loss.

“They play tough football,” Byrum said of Hertford County. “But we got really good play up front. The defensive line put a lot of pressure on the quarterback and that certainly helped out the secondary. But they covered really well too.”

Taylor led Hunt’s ground attack with 60 hard-earned yards on 20 rushes.