MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Lejeune High School celebrated its homecoming football game Friday in front of a sold-out crowd of fans itching to see their Devil Pups beat the Pamlico County High School Hurricanes.
The spirited festivities began before the ball was even kicked off as bouncy houses, sumo suits and food filled the area around the field for adults and children to take part in during the evening.
The Devil Pups started the game slowly after electing to kick during the coin toss. The Hurricanes marched down the field with a powerful rushing attack led by running back Jamal Coffee. NaQuan Gibbs, Pamlico’s quarterback, rushed in for a 10-yard touchdown to cap off the drive, followed by a successful two-point conversion.
The first quarter featured hard-nosed defense by both teams, forcing rushed and incomplete passes and short runs. Pamlico blocked a punt from the Devil Pups as the first quarter concluded with the Hurricanes leading by eight.
After battling back and forth for most of the second quarter, Jamaz Richardson, running back for Lejeune, rushed into the end zone for a 38-yard touchdown, and the Devil Pups converted the two-point attempt to tie the game at eight. After Pamlico botched a punt and fumbled the ball, Lejeune scored another touchdown with a minute left in the half as quarterback Chad Collins found wide receiver Charles Murdock for a 17-yard score, propelling them to a 15-8 lead over the Hurricanes at the half.
At halftime, the homecoming court was presented to the crowd. Two males and two females represented each class, except for the senior class, which had three males and three females. After the homecoming court was exhibited, the narrator gave the audience some information about each one. Collins was crowned homecoming king and Nadine Gerard was crowned homecoming queen.
After the halftime break, defense prevailed during the third quarter until Lejeune ran down the field in small bursts, fatiguing Pamlico’s defense slowly. Fullback Stephen DiCenso ran in for a three-yard touchdown. After the extra point, Lejeune grew their lead to 22-8.
The fourth quarter progressed similarly as Richardson scored twice on a 50-yard run and a 15-yard run. The final score of the game was 36-14 as Lejeune blew out the Pamlico Hurricanes with an excited full house of fans.
Both teams were heavily penalized, which stalled many potentially successful drives. Holding calls were prevalent, and at one point, miscommunication caused the Devil Pups to be flagged for only having 10 players on the field in back-to-back plays. However, even with the sloppy play, Lejeune was able to keep their running game effective throughout the game and send the Devil Pup fans home happy.
The Hurricanes had no answer for the Devil Pup’s rushing attack throughout the game. As a team, Lejeune ran for 370 yards on a whopping 50 attempts, while Jefferson ran for 260 of those himself on 27 attempts, giving him an impressive 9.6 yards per carry.