Wheatmore’s Halo is golden in romp over Jordan-Matthews in gridiron action

BY ATTICUS CROTHERS, News + Record Correspondent
Posted 11/8/19

TRINITY — For a 5-foot-9 Catawba College baseball commit who didn’t play football until eighth grade, Nick Halo’s six-touchdown performance on Senior Night provided a remarkable end to an illustrious career at Wheatmore Stadium. Halo controlled the game and completed 26 of 34 attempts for 318 yards as his Wheatmore Warriors rolled to a 49-14 win over Jordan-Matthews on Friday night.

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Wheatmore’s Halo is golden in romp over Jordan-Matthews in gridiron action

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Posted

TRINITY — For a 5-foot-9 Catawba College baseball commit who didn’t play football until eighth grade, Nick Halo’s six-touchdown performance on Senior Night provided a remarkable end to an illustrious career at Wheatmore Stadium.

Halo controlled the game and completed 26 of 34 attempts for 318 yards as his Wheatmore Warriors rolled to a 49-14 win over Jordan-Matthews on Friday night.

The Warriors improved to 4-6 while the Jets dropped to 2-8.

“I’m undersized but I play with a big heart,” Halo said. “I’ve been told that I was too short and I wanted to prove everyone wrong. I’ve had a great high school career.”

Halo, whose father was once the Wheatmore defensive coordinator, had never played football until eighth grade and started out as a defensive player. But he quickly became a quarterback during that season at Archdale-Trinity Middle School.

“We were at practice one day and Coach Sheffield took me over to the side and gave me a ball and said ‘Start throwing,’” Halo said. “That’s how it all started.”

Two years later, as a Wheatmore sophomore, he was in the midst of a quarterback competition as the Warriors trailed East Davidson 2-0 with two minutes remaining in the game. It was Philip Yarbrough’s second game as the Wheatmore head coach.

“I was in for the last drive,” Halo said. “I threw a slant route to Nathan Christenbury, and he scored a touchdown and Coach Yarbrough believed in me ever since.”

Since that game, Halo has led the Warriors to 23 wins over his three years as the starting quarterback.

“We trust each other that when you’re in the heat of the game, we’re going to figure it out,” Yarbrough said.

The Warriors began executing smoothly right out of the gate on Friday, coming up with two quick scores. Halo threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Zach Berrier and a 20-yard score to Gabe Hernandez.

“We set it up on the sideline,” Halo said of the second touchdown. “We knew the corners were biting hard on little short routes and so I gave him a little fake, the corner came up and I just let it rip to Gabe for a touchdown.”

Jordan-Matthews quarterback Calvin Schwartz was then intercepted by Camden Wishon, setting up Wheatmore to score again when Halo found Berrier on a 3-yard out route to make it 21-0.

After a total of four interceptions - two per team - over the next five series, the Warriors offense found its stride once again and Austin Biggs punched in a one-yard rushing score.

Less than four minutes later, Halo completed another three-yard touchdown to Berrier, sending the game into halftime at 34-0.

Jordan-Matthews coach Sam Spencer attributed his team’s first half struggles to penalties, turnovers and “a bunch of self-inflicted wounds.” The Jets managed just 26 scrimmage yards in the half.

Four plays into the second half, Halo flipped a shovel pass to Hernandez and the senior wideout dashed in for a 9-yard touchdown, his second of the game. Biggs ran in the two-point conversion to make it 42-0.

The Jets finally got on track as Schwartz completed a 53-yard touchdown pass to Rayshawn Alston. Ethan Jordan’s two-point rush brought the score to 42-8 with 5:23 to go in the third quarter.

Halo then drove his team down to the 14-yard line and fired over the middle to Berrier, who dove into the end zone for his fourth touchdown of the night.

“My quarterback was hitting me,” said Berrier, a teammate of Halo’s since eighth grade. “It’s been nice playing with him.”

Yarbrough also appreciates the bond between Halo and Berrier.

“They’re really good friends so there’s a lot of natural chemistry there,” the coach said. “They’re able to really feed off of each other.”

The Jets then got the ball back for one last series, and they capitalized.

With the ball at the Wheatmore 8-yard line and just seconds left in the game, Spencer called timeout. He wanted quarterback Jacquez Thompson to get the ball to Johnny Person, a senior wide receiver without a touchdown on the season.

“I told Jacquez there I said, ‘Throw it to Johnny in the corner,’” Spencer said.

Thompson threw the ball up to Person, who came down with it in the end zone for his first touchdown of the season and Thompson’s first career touchdown pass.

“Our kids, they haven’t quit all year,” Spencer said. “And you know, something about the kids in Siler City, they’re tough. They’re always going to fight and that’s encouraging going forward.”

The running clock meant that was the last play of the game, and a positive ending for Jordan-Matthews. The Jets, however, were simply unable to keep up with the high-flying Warriors offense, headlined by Halo’s standout performance in his final home game.

“I thought he was unbelievable,” Yarbrough said of Halo. “He’s been able to really progress and make some reads on the field and do some things that other people can’t. So it allows me, as a play caller, to put a lot of faith in him to make decisions on the field.”

Long after the game had ended, the last two Warriors on the field, Halo and Yarbrough, walked off of it together.

“We had great memories on that field,” Halo said.

As they left the field and prepared to set off up the stairs of Wheatmore Stadium and into the night, Yarbrough wanted to make sure he got to share a few words with his quarterback.

Said the coach, “I’m proud of you.”

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