Eagles Fly Past Vikings
Union Pines fell 46-11 to Western Harnett in Cape Fear Valley Conference football action Friday at Woodrow Wilhoit Stadium.
Four turnovers and an inability to stop the visiting Eagles' diverse offensive attack proved to be the deciding factors in the Vikings' fourth consecutive loss of the season.
On their first play from scrimmage, the Vikings fumbled. The turnover led directly to a Western score, as Jordan Trapp took the first snap of the night for the Eagle offense and connected with Montreze Hooker for a 33-yard touchdown.
William Overton provided Western's second score with a 2-yard touchdown run. The Eagles covered 74 yards on 12 plays during the seven-minute drive, taking a 14-0 lead with 1:18 remaining in the opening period.
Overton soon found the end zone again on a 65-yard scoring scamper to give the Eagles a 20-0 advantage. His second touchdown came on the first play of Western's third drive in the contest.
In the first half, Western Harnett totaled 176 rushing yards on 22 carries in the first half, while Union Pines gained nine yards on the ground on 13 rushing attempts.
Union Pines used a pair of safeties to trail 20-4 at intermission. The first came when Cameron Person tackled an Eagle runner in the end zone. Viking sophomore Braxton Ross forced the next, when he blocked a punt with 3:53 left in the second quarter.
Just before the close of the first half, Union Pines mounted a red zone threat. Vike senior quarterback Taylor O'Neil hit junior Parris Manning across the middle of the field for a gain of 28, moving the ball to the Western 25. Three plays later, O'Neil spotted a receiver streaking to the end zone, but his pass was intercepted at the 8-yard line on a leaping effort by Eagle defensive back Chris Hobbs.
The Eagles wasted little time pushing their margin to 29-4 as play resumed in the third period. On the first play of their second drive, quarterback Randy McNeill hit Caleb Chalmers on screen for a 71-yard touchdown. It was the first of two scoring strikes for McNeill, who later hooked up with Thomas Garner on a 46-yard touchdown.
Eventually, it was the Vike special teams that found the end zone with an 85-yard kickoff return from Manning. Seth Breasseale added on the kick to make it a 29-11 ballgame with 3:49 left in the third quarter.
After Union Pines totaled 57 yards of offense in the first half, O'Neil continued to face constant pressure from Western's defensive line. He was forced to throw on the run for a vast majority of the night - often times finishing on the ground from contact after just getting off a pass.
Union Pines ultimately paid a price for its lack of pass protection. O'Neil threw two interceptions in the second half, while completing two of his nine attempts for 28 yards. His second pick of the night came late in the third quarter, with the score still 29-11. The errant pass came less than a minute after Union Pines' defense forced a turnover on an interception by sophomore linebacker Spencer Shadomy.
From there, the Eagles connected on their second field goal of the night. Junior place kicker Ian Bohn, who also made a 37-yarder, sent the 28-yard kick through the uprights extending the margin to 32-11.
Western, which came into the night winless on the year, tacked on two more touchdowns-including a 14-yard interception return by Trapp. The Eagles (1-6) improved to 1-1 in the CFVC with their first victory of the season.
With the loss the Vikings fell to 2-6 overall and 0-3 in conference play. Union Pines hosts Westover (2-5, 1-1) next Friday in its homecoming game.
Contact F.W. Manning II at email@example.com.
W. Harnett 14 6 9 17 46
Union Pines 0 4 7 0 11
Scoring: (W) Hooker 33-pass from Trapp (Bohn kick); (W) Overton 2-run (Bohn kick); (W) Overton 65-run (kick failed); (U) Safety; (U) Safety; (W) Chalmers 71-pass from McNeill (kick failed); (W) Bohn 37-field goal; (U) Manning 85-kickoff return (Breasseale kick); (W) Bohn 28-field goal; (W) Garner 46-pass from McNeill (Bohn kick) (W) Trapp 14-int. return (Bohn kick)
Team stats: First downs - (W) 11 (U) 7; Rushing - (W) 40-285 (U) 24-88; Passing - (W) 4-9 173 (U) 8-25 104; Penalties - (W) 10-105 (U) 5-60; Fumbles - (W) 1-0 (U) 2-1
Individual stats: Rushing - (W) Overton 13-81, Trapp 10-80, Hooker 5-56, Chalmers 5-42, L. Burrell 3-44; (U) J. McMillan 13-25, A.J. Ritter 4-16, Ross 3-10; Passing - (W) McNeill 3-7-1 140, Trapp 1-2-0 33; (U) O'Neil 7-22-3 81, Ross 1-3-0 23; Receiving - (W) Chalmers 2-94, Garner 1-46, Hooker 1-33; (U) Manning 4-57, Z. Rodriguez 2-19, Ross 1-17, D. Adams 1-11
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