Wolverines, Hall Rush Past Vikings
The Westover Wolverines used a straightforward rushing attack to top Union Pines 40-14 in a 3-A Cape Fear Valley Conference football contest Friday in Fayetteville.
UPHS Football at Westover
Action from Union Pines' 40-14 loss to Westover in a 3-A CFVC football game, Friday in Fayetteville. The Vikes' record moved to 2-6 on the season and 0-4 in conference play after the defeat. Photos by F.W. Manning II.
Led by a dominate display from junior running back Marquis Hall, the homestanding Wolverines (2-6, 1-2 CFVC) celebrated homecoming by racking up 399 rushing yards on 38 carr
Hall, who scored four touchdowns on the night, tallied 167 yards on 12 carries in the first half and finished the night amassing 225 rushing yards in 20 attempts.
His first trip to pay dirt capped off a three-play, 69-yard opening drive for the Wolverines with 11:01 remaining in the first quarter. After gains of eight and 42 yards, the 5-foot-10, 180-pound back burst through the interior of the Vike defense, breaking several tackles on his way to a 19-yard scoring scamper.
Preceding a Union Pines fumble on its second possession, Hall gained 72 yards on three rushes — including a 23-yard touchdown — during a drive by the home team that spanned 97 yards on six plays. The extra-point by kicker Javier Archibald put Westover on top 14-0 with 6:27 remaining in the opening period.
Union Pines’ offense responded with a quick three-and-out series.
The Vikings punted four times in their five first-half possession, while mustering just 55 yards of offense on 21 plays from scrimmage. Meanwhile, Westover finished the first two quarters with 233 yards of total offense to carry a 14-0 lead into intermission.
As action resumed in the third quarter, the Vikings’ offense went just four plays before turning the ball over on downs. Westover answered with an eight-play, 65-yard scoring drive that spanned 3:45. Hall again provided the payoff for the home squad, as he slammed his way to pay dirt on a four-yard run off tackle to give Westover a 20-0 advantage.
Trailing by three touchdowns, the Vikings managed to respond with their only scoring drive of the night. Ultimately starting quarterback Zak Rodriguez came through with the capper in the form of a 24-yard rushing touchdown on a bootleg left.
The contest marked the second straight game the senior captain has received the nod from head coach Ryan Riggan to take the reins as the Vikes’ starting signal caller.
“We have decided to go in a different direction offensively,” said Riggan, “Rodriguez provides us with great leadership out there, which is something this team needs and we feel he gives us the best chance to compete.”
After a shaky debut a week ago, which included three interceptions and two lost fumbles, Rodriguez appeared more poised passing the ball Friday. He completed seven of his 16 throws for a total of 54 yards on the night. He was also sacked four times without fumbling the ball.
Westover answered the Vikings’ score with a quick seven points. Hall scored his fourth touchdown on a 17-yard reception on a pass by quarterback Henry Howard. The play gave the Wolverines a 27-7 lead with 8:34 remaining in the fourth quarter.
With his team trailing 34-7, Vike senior Parris Manning gave the Union Pines’ fans a thrill by returning a kickoff 83 yards for a touchdown with 5:03 left in the final quarter. It would serve as the Vikings’ last charge however, as an unsuccessful onside kick led to the Wolverines’ final touchdown of the night.
With the loss, Union Pines moved to 0-4 in league action and 2-6 on the season. The Vikes host Southern Lee (5-3, 2-2 CFVC) next week on senior night in Cameron at Woodrow Wilhoit Stadium.
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