It was over in a hurry.
Rosewood, led by the hashmark-collecting prowess of senior running back Avante George, started quickly on Friday versus North Duplin, scoring 27 points in the first half.
The Eagles would go on to defeat the Rebels 47-0 on Friday evening.
“I saw a fast start, and that’s what we wanted,” Rosewood head coach Robert Britt said. “We’ve been telling kids how big this game was for North Duplin and us because whoever won this game gave themselves a great chance to make the playoffs.
“North Duplin is so well-coached, and so I was really happy with how we started.”
The triumph moved Rosewood to 6-0 on the season and sets up a battle of undefeated teams next Friday. Rosewood hosts archrival Princeton (6-0) for the Carolina 1A Conference title.
For the third straight season, Rosewood and Princeton will face off for the conference championship, and Britt said next week’s game is significant for both teams.
“When we play that school down the road, it’s always important, it means something to their community, and it means something to our community, regardless of what’s on the line,” Britt said. “This is a big game, and I’m so glad that it is. The winner of this game will have some bragging rights for a while.”
George, and the rest of the Rosewood offense, were electric from the outset. George finished the game with 222 yards rushing and four touchdowns.
In addition to George – who scored the game’s first touchdown – the Eagles got hard-charging efforts from Terquavis Butler and quarterback Will Harris, who combined to rush for 124 yards and a touchdown.
“Avante is having an unbelievable year, and you have to tip your hat to the offensive line,” Britt said. “And with Will being able to make the right read, pulling it, and throwing it to the open receiver, there’s a reason why we can put points on the board.”
After George’s first touchdown run, the Rebels fumbled on their next possession. Rosewood’s Elijah Joyner picked up the ball and returned it for a touchdown, and the Eagles led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.
“Anytime you keep a team out of the end zone, it boosts morale,” Britt said. “It’s the second game in a row that we’ve kept a team out of the end zone.”
In the second quarter, the Eagles kept flying high, and they led 27-0 at halftime.
The Rebels had no answer for the Eagles in the second half, and the Eagles were in no danger of losing the game.
Eli Morrisey rushed for 105 yards on 21 carries to lead the Rebels, while Gage Outlaw completed four passes for 48 yards. Kyle Holland caught three passes for 45 yards.
The loss moved North Duplin to 3-3 this season. The Rebels will travel to Hobbton next week for their regular-season finale.