Sandhills Patriots Roll Over Illumination Titans
Patriots Victorious in PYFL Pigskin Opener
The Sandhills Patriots 10-11 year-old junior varsity team prevailed 36-0 in its 2011 Piedmont Youth Football League debut against the Illumination Titans, of Charlotte, Saturday at Southern Pines Elementary School. Photos by F.W. Manning II.
The Sandhills Patriots youth football teams started the season with a bang on Saturday, winning all three games held at Sandhills Elementary School.
The Patriots’ prep squad got the afternoon off to a good start, claiming a tight 13-6 win over the visiting Illumination Titans. The Patriots’ junior varsity squad kept the tide rolling in the home team’s favor by collecting a 36-0 win over the Titans.
Then, in the final game of the tripleheader, the Patriots’ varsity squad defeated the Titans 23-0.
Patriot Varsity Yet to Lose
Just two years after joining the Piedmont Youth Football League, the Sandhills Patriots’ varsity squad has amassed a record of 21-0 and brought home to Moore County two PYFL Super Bowl titles.
Make that record 22-0 now.
The Patriots started the 2011 PYFL season with a convincing 23-0 win over the visiting Titan squad. Carson Maples provided two scores on long runs, Jaylen Dickerson scored on a quarterback keeper and Zach Martinez provided two extra points and a field goal for the triumphant Patriots.
After a defensive stop on the Titans’ first possession, the Patriots scored on their first play from scrimmage when Maples ripped off a 47-yard dash for a score. The extra-point attempt failed, leaving the Pats in front 6-0.
Later in the first half, Dickerson raced around right end to pay dirt to culminate a 74-yard drive keyed by the runs of Maples and fullback Sam Williams. Martinez added the extra point, bringing in the 13-0 halftime score.
In the second half, the Patriot defense continued to stymie the Titans’ offensive attack, with middle linebackers David Bortins and Malik Justice and strong safety Crash Burns leading the havoc-wrecking crew.
In the third quarter, Maples darted his way to another score, this time covering 52 yards of real estate. Martinez added the extra point, pushing the Patriot lead to 20-0. Martinez would round out the scoring with a 31-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.
The offensive line, including captain Sam Fetla, Austin Owens, Tre Smith, Chandler Woody and Layton Barber, opened up huge holes for the Patriots running backs. Taking advantage of the line’s surge, Maples, Williams, Dickerson, Tyrese Kelly and Kross Ratliff combined to rush for over 200 yards in the contest.
Keegan Goode and Williams each had an interception for the Patriot defense. Outside linebackers Ayinde McKnight and Jamez Bryant contained the Titan rushing attack, while interior linemen Thomas Dean, Zaire Graham, Davis Byrd and Woody held down the middle of the defense.
The Patriots take to the road next Saturday when they travel to East Mecklenburg High School to take on the SOAR Vikings.
Jayvees Dominate Titans
The Patriot junior varsity squad used a high-powered offense and a stingy defensive performance in claiming the 36-0 win over the Titans.
Running back Qua’Darrin Kelly got the Patriots on the board when he scooted 46 yards for a score early in the first quarter. For the day, Kelly would finish with 88 yards on just six carries.
The next time the Patriots had the ball, quarterback Nik Pry found Jaren Lubrano on a 39-yard scoring toss. Lubrano also got involved in the ground game, gaining 41 yards on four carries, including a 20-yard rush in the third quarter. Other players providing rushing yardage included Fulton Smith, who had two carries for 20 yards, and fullback Greg Lyne, who sauntered 10 yards on his one carry.
Pry ended the first-half scoring when he connected with wide receiver Ryan Ayers for a 65-yard score. Tight end Dylan Gray also had a catch for 12 yards, as Pry finished by completing five-of-six pass attempts for 129 yards.
Pry also scored two-point conversions twice for the Patriots, while Langdon McFay and Lubrano each converted a kick for extra points.
Backup quarterback Pres Ostert capped off the Patriot scoring in the fourth quarter with a one-yard sneak into the end zone.
On the defensive side, the Patriots were outstanding, allowing only one Titan first down.
Linebacker Kyle Ehlers and defensive tackle Charles Justice led the defense with three tackles each, while defensive end Langdon McFay had two stops. Douglas Fipps had the Patriots only interception.
The jayvee squad travels to East Mecklenburg High School to take on the Carmel Raiders next Saturday.
Patriot Preps Hold Off Titans
Sparked by a goal-line stand, the Patriot prep squad defeated the Titans 13-6 behind two scores from James Tomanelli.
Zyheem Kelly and Jayden McKnight joined Tomanelli in producing a steady rushing attack for the victors. Both of Tomanelli’s scores came on long runs from scrimmage, while Kelly provided one extra point on a rushing attempt.
The Patriot defense was resolute, giving up the line Titan score with less than a minute left in the game. On another Titan threat, the defense recovered after allowing a long run to set the ball up on the three-yard line. Four plays later, the Titans had been pushed back to the 10-yard line on their way to turning the ball over on downs.
Xavier Troy, Rory Board and Clint McNeill joined Easton Ostert and Ethan McKay in stifling the Titan offensive attack.
The Patriot preps are now 2-0, combining last Saturday’s win with an earlier forfeit victory.
Next Saturday, the squad travels to East Mecklenburg High School where it is scheduled to take on the SOAR Vikings.
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