Football: Big plays on offense, defense guides New Hanover past Ashley

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Francis Meehan (right) gets into the endzone for the final New Hanover touchdown of the night. (Photo by Hannah Leyva.)
Francis Meehan (right) gets into the end zone for the final New Hanover touchdown of the night. (Photo by Hannah Leyva.)

New Hanover 43   Ashley 0

New Hanover had a pair of hard-nosed practices earlier this week to shake the cobwebs after a disappointing road trip to Shallotte one week ago. The shot of adrenaline worked for the Wildcats on Friday night in a dominating 43-0 shutout against Ashley at Legion Stadium.

After the defense forced a three-and-out on the game’s first possession, sophomore quarterback Blake Walston went to the air with just under nine minutes to play in the opening period where he hit senior Malcolm Hill on a 42-yard touchdown pass for the early lead.

Wildcats’ Head Coach Earl Smith was looking for its defense to step up this week and senior Jahann Simmons gave the home side a defensive score on a 20-yard interception return to put New Hanover in control early.

Ashley’s second turnover of the came quickly turned into six points for the orange and black as Francis Meehan found Wiz Vaughn for a seven yard touchdown for a 22-0 advantage to cap an impressive 12 minutes of play.

With a 29-0 cushion moving into the second half, Vaughn took the opening kickoff deep into Screaming Eagles territory and scored his second touchdown of the game on a 25 yard run. Meehan added one more score late in the third quarter to force a running clock in the final frame.

Up next for New Hanover (3-1, 5-4) is a road trip to Hampstead for date with Topsail (2-2, 4-5) on Friday, Oct. 28. Ashley (1-4, 3-5) will play host to Hoggard.

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