Patriot Freshmen Gridders Claim Win in Opener
The Pinecrest freshmen football team opened the season with a 33-12 victory over South Robeson at home on Thursday afternoon.
The Patriots’ Jaylen Taylor scored on touchdown runs of seven, 75 and 64 yards, and the defense held the Mustangs scoreless in the second half.
After the Patriot defense forced a punt on the game’s first possession, Chance Castillo gained much of the yardage in a 70-yard drive that wound up with Taylor’s tackle-breaking seven-yard scoring run. Joe Lewis then kicked the first of his three extra points for a 7-0 lead.
Patriot nose guard Charlie Smith was in the Mustang backfield on three plays in a row, forcing another punt. A fumbled snap gave the Pats the ball at the visitors’ three-yard line. Zion Ervin scored on the first play, but the conversion try hit the right post, making it 13-0.
The Mustangs shocked the Patriot defense with a 65-yard touchdown run on the first play after the ensuing kickoff. But Taylor and the Patriot kick return unit countered with a 75-yard scoring play. The conversion made it 20-6.
The feverish scoring pace continued when the visitors struck back with a touchdown to make it 20-12. Just before the end of the half, the Pats’ Thomas Lehto recovered a fumbled punt in Mustang territory, but the clock ran out.
A 28-yard scamper by quarterback Bradley Black to the Mustang eight set up an early third period score for the home team. Black completed the drive with runs of seven and one yards, increasing the lead to 26-12.
Early in the fourth quarter, a sack by Smith on third down, and a tackle by Troy Roper on the next play, turned the ball back to the Patriots at their own 36. With Michael Jacobs now at quarterback, Taylor carried the ball 64 yards for a touchdown on a sweep to the right. Lewis kicked the final point of the game with Roper doing the holding.
On the second to last play of the game, Erik McCaskill sacked the Mustang ball carrier for an eight-yard loss.
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