Tyreese Morris rushed for 164 yards to lead the Storm to their second win in a row.
Stuart Cramer capitalized on two early turnovers by North Gaston and got clutch running from junior Tyreese Morris to claim a Big South 3A win, 41-26.
Morris had over 100 yards rushing and scored three touchdowns in the second half. For the game, he finished with 164 yards on the ground and a 23-yard TD reception.
“He’s definitely an explosive kid,” said Storm coach Ben McMillan of his junior tailback. “When he gets to the hole he’s got a chance to break it. Our offensive line did a great job getting him some holes to run through.”
Turning point: The Wildcats fumbled twice on their second play from scrimmage to hand the football to Stuart Cramer, which scored less than two minutes into the game.
North Gaston fumbled again on their next series and the Storm struck quickly with quarterback Luke Carpenter’s 39-yard scoring strike to Demarrick Floyd and the second of Devin Baldwin’s five extra points.
The Wildcats came clawing back, getting their fourth TD with 7:41 left in the game to get to within eight on sophomore Waylin Webb’s 49-yard option run and Webb’s two-point carry to the end zone.
Morris’s last score, a 3-yard power run at 3:18, effectively put the game away with North’s inability to throw long and score quickly.
Star of the game: North Gaston fullback Kareem Kennedy led all rushers with 178 yards to go with two scores on a workmanlike 41 carries, mostly on quick-hitters between the tackles.
Carpenter completed just four passes for 50 yards but found the end zone twice on 39- and 23-yard TDs.
“We took advantage of the opportunities,” said Coach McMillan, “but we also had a lot of mistakes, miscues. We’ll go back to correct those.”
What's next: Stuart Cramer has another Big South game next week at Ashbrook.
North Gaston plays next Friday at Crest.