O'Neil, Rodriguez Connect for Vikes, Pats Freshman Roll Behind Helms, Anderson
When Travis Scales scored from the one-yard line to give Pinecrest a 34-0 lead with 1:15 remaining in the first quarter of Friday night's Battle of the Pines X, Union Pines had run only five plays from scrimmage. Not including an onside kick recovered by the Patriots, the first four Viking possessions ended in turnovers.
Viking quarterback Taylor O'Neil showed both arm strength and touch on his two second quarter touchdown passes to Zak Rodriguez. On the first, a 14-yarder, the senior left-hander fired a bullet into close coverage. On the second he put a lot of air under the ball for his junior wide receiver to complete the 64-yard play.
Patriots Plus Eight in Turnovers
Pinecrest kicker Dillon Maples and his back-up Jeremy Brock put seven kickoffs in the end zone. Only one of the Vikings' 12 offensive possessions began in Patriot territory. The Patriots started out on the Viking half of the field eight times.
In the first two games of a 2-0 start, Pinecrest is plus eight in the turnover department.
Patriot Freshman Start Fast
About 170 players dressed for Pinecrest's varsity, jayvee and freshmen games this week. The Patriot freshmen opened their season with a 37-15 victory over Broughton in Raleigh on Thursday.
Coach Mike Francis's squad jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead on touchdowns runs of 20 and 35 yards by quarterback Tristan Helms. Scoring runs of 15 and 40 yards by Joseph Anderson helped the Pats increase their advantage to 30-0 before Broughton got its running attack in gear.
"We just came out on both sides of the ball very aggressive and upbeat," Francis said. "It just set the tone for the rest of the game. The kids were very excited at getting a chance to play and it showed.
"After that the opposition let us know we were really in a ball game. They showed a very good running attack. It definitely showed us we have a lot of work to do."
The final Patriot touchdown was a fumble recovery by defensive lineman Pat Guarente in the Cap end zone. Jackson Maples (3) and Connor Hees (2) were a combined 5-for-5 on extra point conversions. Trevion Wooten was credited with a pass interception for the Pats.
More like this story