Pinecrest Crushes Enloe
BY CHARLIE BERGMANN
Special to The Pilot
Opportunistic Pinecrest turned six Enloe turnovers into 21 points and coasted to a surprisingly easy 38-0 victory at the John Williams Athletic Complex Friday night.
The Patriots scored all of their points in the second and third periods of the season opener. Running backs Damion Pride (2) and Raphael Alston, and quarterback Travis Scales provided the touchdowns by the offense. Defensive back D.J. Simpson scored on a fumble return.
Dillon Maples added the extra point after each of the touchdowns and also kicked a school record 52-yard field goal.
The Patriots had trouble holding on to the football also, but managed to retain possession after six of their eight fumbles.
Late in a scoreless first quarter that saw the Patriots outplayed by the team from Raleigh, a pitchout that got away from Pride resulted in an 11-yard loss. The fumble, recovered by the Patriots, was their third of the period.
"We had some pre-game jitters, I call them," the running back said. "Everybody was nervous about the first game."
On the next play, tight end Mike Johnson got one hand on a pass thrown down the middle from Scales before hauling it in for a 41-yard gain. It was the Patriots' initial first down.
"They (Enloe) kept cheating the safeties up and we saw it," assistant head coach and offensive coordinator Cameron Bennett said. "We decided to call it and see what happened. He was wide open and Travis made a great throw.
"I think a lot of the first couple of series was inexperience, a young quarterback, a young offensive line. They were a little nervous. They were new at it."
Now in Eagle territory for the first time at the 40-yard line, Alston chewed up 26 yards on four carries. From the 11, Scales was about to find pay dirt when the ball was knocked out of his grasp. It went right into the hands of Alston who took it the final two yards for the touchdown at the 10-minute mark of the second quarter.
Less than two minutes later, Simpson picked up an Eagle fumble and returned it 31 yards for a touchdown. Maples' conversion made it 14-0.
The first of four kickoffs by Maples that went into the end zone for touchbacks was quickly followed by a spectacular interception by cornerback John Brown. But the Patriots turned it right back over with a fumble.
The Patriots started winning both lines of scrimmage just as they did in last season's 41-20 win over the Eagles. Pride scored on a 12-yard run just before the half, making it 21-0. A 33-yard connection between Scales and wide receiver Pat Moore set up a 3-yard score by Pride on the first series of the second half.
The Eagles quickly gave the ball right back on another fumble, and this time Scales kept the ball and went 25 yards for a touchdown. The record-breaking field goal by Maples completed the scoring.
While the Patriots were putting all those points on the board in the middle periods, the Eagle offense was held to two first downs and 49 total yards on 18 rushing attempts.
"It took us a few plays to get into it, but after that we were flying around and having fun," defensive lineman Dylan Gaffney said. "We would basically cut block the offensive linemen, leaving the linebackers free to make the tackles. We were getting pumped up clearing everybody out and watching David Smith and Adam McDuffie (linebackers) make great hits."
There were a few more big hits to come in the scoreless fourth quarter. Linebacker Terry Marsh was the -separator on a Eagle fumble recovered by Luke Fetla. On the final snap of the game, Joe White covered a ball shaken loose by Andre Cheatham.
Patriot reserves helped preserve the shutout as 60 players in all saw action. After congratulating his team on a job well done, head coach Chris Metzger changed the subject to Union Pines, next week's opponent at home.
"They are believing," the coach said, aware the Vikings soundly defeated Red Springs 27-7. "This is a big one and we have to come out and play fundamentally sound."
The only pass completed by Enloe in eight attempts went for a 2-yard loss. The Patriots out-gained the visitors from scrimmage 315 to 135.
Enloe 0 0 0 0 - 0
Pinecrest 0 21 17 0 - 38
Scoring - (P) Alston 2-run off fumble recovery (Maples kick); (P) Simpson 31-fumble return (Maples kick); (P) Pride 12-run (Maples kick); (P) Pride 3-run (Maples kick); (P) Scales 25-run (Maples kick); (P) Maples 52-FG
Stat leaders - Rushing (P) Scales 8-75, Alston 12-71, Pride 9-27, Van Cleave 6-26, Kirkpatrick 1-24 (E) Twitty 13-44, Missie 9-27; Passing (P) Scales 2-4, 74 yds., (E) Stewart 1-7, -2 yds.; Receiving - Johnson 1-41, Moore 1-33
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