The game between Dudley and Carver was one of the quickest high school games that I've attended, with both schools looking to grind it out on the ground and rarely putting the ball in the air. Dudley opened the scoring in the first half with a four-yard TD run but missed the extra point. The Panthers took a 6-0 lead in at halftime and the hometown crowd was buzzing about a possible victory over Carver.
At halftime the Yellow Jackets of Carver made some great adjustments and came out looking to get the ball to Junior Running Back Shaun Moore. Moore took over in the 3rd quarter as Carver continued to pound the ball on the ground between the tackles, eating up chunks of time and yardage while keeping Dudley's potent offense on the sidelines. After Moore reached the end zone for Carver's first score of the night, they missed an extra point as well, leaving the score tied but with the momentum clearly on the visitor's sideline.
The game was decided in the fourth quarter, with the "star power" of Dudley proving to be the difference. With Carver driving across midfield into Dudley territory, Panthers Defensive Tackle Demario Pressley, who had beeen contained all night, made the first big play on the defensive side of the ball, busting into the backfield and forcing a fumble from the Carver fullback that Dudley recovers. "Super Demario," as he's called by the Dudley PA announcer, pumps life into his team and gets the crowd back into the game, giving Dudley some much-needed enthusiasm. On the next play, Running Back Jamaal Edwards, who had been outplayed by Moore up until that point, explodes through the line for a fifty yard touchdown run that gives Dudley a 12-6 lead. After a two-point conversion, the Panthers lead Carver 14-6 with four minutes to go in the final period.
Carver shows some heart on the next drive by piecing together a couple of first downs and reaching midfield. Then the Carver QB is hit while attempting a pass and Dudley Safety Martel Thatch comes up with the critical interception that seals the victory for the Panthers. Dudley's 14-6 win gave them a 2-1 record on the year while Carver fell to 1-3.
Greensboro Dudley vs. Greensboro Page (Sept. 12 @ 7:30)
Winston-Salem Carver vs. Southwest Guilford (Sept. 12 @ 7:30)
#72 Demario Pressley DT, Dudley
When you first see Demario, what stands out is how impressive he is physically. He's in great shape and has the perfect frame for a defensive tackle. He's explosive off the line of scrimmage and was often double-teamed, although not as much as you would expect. He uses his hands well and has a mental approach to the game that you don't see much from interior linemen. I had him for 4 tackles, 1 TFL, and 1 forced fumble (VERY unofficial stats) on the night. While talking to a few Dudley fans, they seem to suggest that the knock on Demario is that he sometimes may take plays off or doesn't have the mean streak that's necessary to play in the trenches. Although I may have caught him on an off-night, it's easy to see why he's so highly thought of and nearly every country across the nation wants him.
#1 Jamaal Edwards RB, Dudley
Edwards, who recently committed to Florida State, has the swagger of a Seminole already and can definitely play. He's quick and elusive, traits that seem to be the norm in Tallahassee these days. One negative about his running style is that Jamaal tends to dance and juke through a hole instead of just trusting his instincts and hitting it, something that must be corrected at the next level. His touchdown run was a thing of beauty, as he ran off tackle and bounced it outside, displaying his 4.4 speed while out-running the Carver secondary to the end zone. That speed and athleticism could lead to him playing another position at FSU… in fact, I think he'd make a great WR or DB in college. One rumor traveling around the stadium was that he committed to the ‘Noles so early because he knew that his numbers would not be as good as last year… due in part to a very young Dudley offensive line.
#21 Martel Thatch S, Dudley
Martel was the first of the "Dudley Boys" to verbal this year, committing to John Bunting's North Carolina Tarheels. A rangy safety, Thatch looks to be a good 6'2 but will likely need a red-shirt year to put on the necessary weight to play in the ACC. He definitely has the frame to add the weight he needs and I really like his upside. He appears to be raw at this point but as he plays the position more and gains experience he'll only get better. He made a critical interception late in the fourth by out-jumping the Carver wideout and on that play he showed some athleticism. I think Thatch will be a fine player in the long-run at North Carolina.
#1 Shaun Moore RB, Carver (JUNIOR)
I like this kid a lot and he proved that he's going to be one to watch for next year. Late in the game he went down with a leg injury that you only hope is not serious, but while on the field he did a lot of good things. He's a big back who runs behind his pads and follows his blockers well. He's also a very good blocker for a young running back and Carver did a good job taking advantage of his blocking skills. He's similar to Edwards in a lot of ways although he's probably not as fast (but appears to be bigger). Next year he will join Toney Baker, Travis Padgett, and Cedric Hickman to form another solid core of senior running backs in the state of North Carolina.