Princeton Middle clinches conference title

By Joe Phillips

For the Johnstonian News

PRINCETON — The Bulldogs from Princeton Middle finished their 2018 season in fine fashion with two road wins in the space of three days last week.

Princeton Middle traveled to North Johnston on Oct. 23 and came away with a 24-8 victory. On the first offensive play of the game, North Johnston quarterback Carter Aycock perfectly executed a read-option play and scampered 48 yards on the keeper to open the scoring. Aycock added a completed pass on a wide receiver screen for the 2-point conversion and North Johnston had an 8-0 lead less than a minute into the contest.

The Bulldogs defense stiffened, however, and did allow any further scoring from the Jaguars, despite a fine effort by Aycock running the ball.

Princeton’s offense managed to move the ball almost at will against the Jaguars defense. The Bulldogs managed scoring drives of 54, 67 and 75 yards and converted all three 2-point conversion attempts. Quarterback Peyton Mitchell opened the scoring for the ‘Dogs with a 4-yard TD run. Mitchell added the 2-point conversion as well.

Midway through the second quarter, the Bulldogs took a 16-8 lead on a 33-yard scoring romp by Weston Evans and the 2-point conversion by Mitchell. Ayden Forbes added a fourth-quarter score for Princeton with a 4-yard TD run. The 2-point conversion added by Khalyb Robinson put the Bulldogs ahead for good at 24-8.

On Thursday, the Bulldogs visited the Benson Phantoms looking to finish an undefeated season and claim a conference championship.

The Bulldogs defense continued its stingy play, forcing three Phantom interceptions and holding Benson to only 8 points. Interceptions by Ayden Forbes and Brandon Turner gave the Bulldogs a short field with both subsequent drives ending with touchdowns. A late-game interception by Jacob Jones allowed the Bulldogs to run out the clock on a 36-8 victory.

The Bulldogs offense was efficient throughout the game, scoring four touchdowns on drives of 40, 60, 32 and 53 yards. Christian Perris had touchdown runs of 10 and 27 yards and also rushed for a 2-point conversion. Khalyb Robinson added a 4-yard touchdown run as well as rushing for a 2-point conversion.

Weston Evans rumbled for a 47-yard touchdown on a one-play scoring drive that answered Benson’s fourth-quarter scoring drive. Bulldogs QB Peyton Mitchell added a 2-point conversion with a pass to tight end Coltan Farrell. Brandon Turner added a special teams score for the Bulldogs on a 70-yard punt return for a touchdown.

The wins against North Johnston and Benson give coach Brent Gurganious and his Bulldogs back-to-back undefeated seasons and conference championships.

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