Gray's Creek Tops Union Pines
BY F.W. MANNING II
Special to The Pilot
Union Pines fell 48-13 to Gray's Creek in Cape Fear Valley Conference football action Friday.
The homestanding Bears powered their way to 35-6 halftime lead behind the dynamic backfield duo of junior John Chiles and senior Devonte Cooley. Gray's Creeks' offense did all of its damage via the run, as the Bears did not attempt a pass in the game.
Chiles tallied 152 yards on nine carries in the first half. An 8-yard scoring run by the junior halfback gave the Bears their final touchdown of the opening stanza with 2:24 left in the second quarter.
Cooley had three rushing touchdowns in the first half, including a 38-yard scoring scamper. By intermission, Cooley had gained 122 yards on nine touches, as the Bears finished the half with 292 rushing yards on 24 attempts including five ground scores.
Union Pines had a hard time getting anything going with its running game. The Vikes finished the first half with 19 rushing yards on 19 attempts.
Senior Quarterback Taylor O'Neil faced constant pressure from the Bears' blitz packages all night. He was sacked four times in the first half.
However, O'Neil did have some success through the air. After being dropped for an 11-yard loss that brought up fourth and 14, O'Neil rolled right and shed a would-be sack. He then scrambled free, finding -senior Devyn Adams open deep down field. The 37-yard scoring play got the Vikes on the board, with 6:29 remaining in the second quarter, and trimmed the Bear led to 14-6.
From there, Gray's Creek closed the half with three touchdowns to take a 29-point advantage into the locker room on homecoming night in Hope Mills. The Bears soon took a 42-6 lead early in the third quarter when junior running back Tory Davis scored from three yards out for his second rushing touchdown of the night.
O'Neil completed nine of his 17 pass attempts in the game to finish with 179 passing yards. His play, along with the performance of receivers Parris Manning and Adams was a major bright spot for Union Pines.
On Union Pines' final drive, O'Neil connected with Manning three times including gains of 24 and 56-yards. Adams then reeled in his second touchdown reception on a 13-yard toss to make the score 42-13.
Manning finished the night with 91 receiving yards on four catches and totaled 157 all-purpose yards, including a 50-yard kickoff return.
On the ensuing kickoff Cooley bobbled the ball, before collecting it and breaking free for an 85-yard score. It was his fourth touchdown of the game. On the night Cooley amassed 247 all-purpose yards, while Chiles had 192 rushing yards on 10 carries. Gray's Creek racked up 384 rushing yards in the contest on 35 attempts.
Two weeks into the CFVC season Gray's Creek (5-2, 2-0) is tied atop the league with Overhills (2-5, 2-0) as the Jags won 14-13 over Douglas Byrd (5-2, 0-2)
Southern Lee (1-6, 1-1) outlasted Western Harnett (0-6, 0-1) to win a 51-48 shootout Friday and move into fourth place. Third-place Westover (2-4, 1-0) had a bye.
The loss was Union Pines' third straight as the Vikes dropped to 2-5 overall on the season and are tied with Douglas Byrd at 0-2 in the CFVC standings.
The Vikings return home next week, where they host Western Harnett in a CFVC clash Friday at Wilhoit Stadium.
Contact F.W. Manning II at email@example.com.
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