Another Shootout for Vikings
Union Pines came just short of a second consecutive Cape Fear Valley Conference football win, losing to visiting Southern Lee 37-33 on Friday.
The Vikings treated a large Homecoming crowd to an entertaining game that featured the bulldozer runs of John Gallimore and the efficient passing of quarterback Travis Monroe. Gallimore rushed 27 times for 140 yards and four touchdowns, while Monroe added 144 yards through the air on seven completions in nine attempts.
Gallimore scored on runs of five, two, one and two yards, while Monroe hit wideout Durrell Toomer for a 15-yard touchdown late in the game.
"It's tough," said Viking coach Elwood Baker. "You want to win when you have a chance. I think we had a good chance to win tonight."
The game was another shootout, coming on the heels of the Vikings 40-34 win over Overhills last week.
The Vikings had plenty of chances to win again, but in the end couldn't overcome three fumbles, and the passing of Cavalier quarterback Dante Alston. The junior finished the evening with five touchdown passes, with the biggest one coming after the Vikes had tied the game in the fourth quarter.
The Vikings used Gallimore's touchdown with 7:09 left in the fourth quarter followed by Monroe's two-point conversion to knot the score at 27-all.
Facing a third-and-20 at its own 19, Alston got outside the Viking defense and drifted around before finding Aaron Mellette standing all alone near midfield. Melette hauled in the pass, juked the one-defender he had to beat and raced to the end zone for the 81-yard score.
"We got caught with our defenders inside on that play," Baker said. "If he hadn't gotten outside on that play, and gotten all that time to throw things might have been different. But you never know."
The three fumbles led to 10 points for the Cavs, including what turned out to be the winning points. With a little less than four minutes remaining, the Vikes fumbled a pitch inside its own 20 that the Cavs pounced on. The Vike defense held, but Shawn Cameron would kick a 27-yard field goal to give Southern Lee a 37-27 lead.
Monroe led the Vikes quickly down the field, covering 57 yards in 40 seconds. First he found Durrell Toomer for a 48-yard gain, then hit the junior split end in the end zone for the score. The two-point conversion failed, leaving the Vikes behind 37-33.
Another fumble came in the third quarter.
Having closed to within 20-19, the Vikes forced the first punt of the night by the Cavs. The ball bounced along the ground, and Durrell Toomer tried to pick it up, but fumbled when hit. The Cavs recovered on the Vikings 27, and scored five plays later to take a 27-19 lead.
On the next Viking possession, they moved deep into Cavalier territory. On a third-and-one play at the 22, a botched handoff allowed the Cavs to stop the drive.
The Vikes returned the favor, and after a Cavalier punt, drove down the field for Gallimore's fourth score to tie the game at 27-all.
"Those three fumbles didn't help," Baker said. "But we played a good game of football tonight. We're going to keep after it."
The Vikings are now 3-3 overall and 1-1 in the conference. Southern Lee is 3-3 overall and 1-1 in the conference.
In the halftime Homecoming festivities, Emilyanne Leonard, the daughter of Lee and Bonna Leonard, was named Homecoming Queen.
Eric Roseboro, the son of Maria Roseboro and Derrick Lassister, was named Homecoming King. Mandisa McAllister, the daughter of James and the Rev. Julia McAllister was named Ms. Union Pines, while Stampley Walden, the son of Stamp and Laura Walden, was named Mr. Union Pines.
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