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Baves’ home cooking leads to dominating 30-3 win
By Matt Smith
The Braves used 138 all-purpose yards from wide receiver Jamal Williams to decimate the Warriors, as UNCP completed a perfect 4-0 home stand in 2009.
The Black and Gold used four touchdowns and a field goal to best Webber International while the defense held the visitors to just 218 yards of total offense and a field goal.
“I would have loved to have had a few more points, but we were able to do what we wanted to do,” UNCP head coach Pete Shinnick said. “We wanted to hold the ball, we wanted to move the chains and we wanted to score the first time we got the ball.”
The Braves wasted no time putting points on the board, using their first drive of the game to go up on the Warriors.
UNCP’s first drive went 78 yards and was capped off with a Travis Daniels 16- yard rush to the left for the Braves’ first touchdown.
This time junior running back Keith Gore picked up the touchdown with a 20- yard run with 13 minutes left in the second quarter.
The 70-yard drive again featured multiple UNCP weapons as Gore, Smith, Williams and running back Rashon Kennedy made big plays during the drive.
One drive later, Webber International responded with their only score of the day, moving the ball 75 yards for a 21-yard field goal from place kicker Matt Ellis.
The Warrior’s 12-play drive would be their only scoring threat of the day, as the Black and Gold closed out the end of the second quarter with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Smith to wide receiver L.J. Johnson. The Braves needed only three plays to score on the drive, as they used a 16-yard pass from Smith and a 7-yard run by Kennedy on the 43-yard drive to set up the scoring opportunity.
A bullying rushing attack by Kennedy, who rushed for 41 yards on the drive, allowed the Braves to pull out a few tricks, as Williams threw a wide receiver pass to junior Jamelle Banks deep down the field for a 26-yard score.
The Black and Gold defense also held up their end of the bargain in the third quarter, holding the Warriors to just 27 yards of total offense in the third period.
The Braves closed out their controlling performance with a field goal late in the fourth quarter. UNCP place kicker Taylor Baskett converted a 28- yard field goal to put the final score at 30-3 in favor of the Braves.
UNCP rushed for 195 yards on the day with Kennedy leading the way with 72 yards.
Smith finished the game 22-for-30 with 212 yards and a touchdown.
Williams’ 138 all-purpose yards included 22 rushing yards, 26 passing yards, 51 kick and punt return yards and 65 receiving yards. Williams also finished the game with seven receptions to lead the Braves.
On the defensive side of the ball, redshirt-freshman linebacker Fred Williams led the Black and Gold with nine total tackles and defensive end Morris McLaughlin led the team with two tackles for loss.
“We came out, defensively, and just kept them on the field way too long in the first half,” said UNCP head coach Pete Shinnick. “I really challenged them at halftime and [Webber International] only got 53 yards in the second half. That was really my expectation.
“I thought that, if our guys played with a lot of excitement and enthusiasm, they could get that done,” Shinnick said. “For whatever reason, we didn’t get it done in the first half. As a team, we really have to get ourselves going quicker.”
The Braves checked in at No. 25 in the NCAA Division II Coaches poll and made it into the poll after just 28 weeks of play in their first three seasons of football.