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RMA completes improbable comeback in title rematch

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Arendell Parrott Academy’s Shyire Thompson, left, is tackled by Rocky Mount Academy’s Thorne Pruden Friday at Rocky Mount Academy.

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By JESSIE H. NUNERY
Telegram Correspondent

Friday, August 17, 2018

What a way to start a season.

Rocky Mount Academy, which won the NCISAA 2-A state title last November, found itself playing a familiar opponent in Friday’s opener.

The Eagles faced Arendell Parrott Academy, the same team they had defeated for the title and had played in many memorable games in previous seasons.

The 2018 opener will be one talked about for quite some time.

Rocky Mount Academy overcame a 26-point deficit, and in the end, prevailed, 58-48, to once again upstage their top rival.

Despite losing starting quarterback Isaiah Thomas in the third quarter, RMA rallied. Peyton David led the Eagles offense to a pair of quick scores after Parrott fumbled consecutive kickoffs.

The missed tackles and turnovers that plagued RMA early stopped, and before the fourth quarter started, the Eagles had a 44-40 lead they made stand.

“We were doing a lot of arm tackling in the first half, and I told the guys if we just make the first play, we’ll be back in it,” RMA coach Terrell Hudgins said. “Peyton came in, didn’t turn the ball over, and that is what we needed.”

Hudgins said the Eagles (1-0) did not practice particularly sharp during the week, and with eight starters graduated from 2017, he was a bit unsure of how his players would perform against one of the better teams in the state.

“It was the first game action for a lot of our guys, but they got all the jitters out,” Hudgins said. “When we got going, we really got it going.”

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