Bears Blast Vikings
Union Pines’ Monday night football game against Gray’s Creek at Woodrow Wilhoit Stadium in Cameron was simply no contest.
The two-time defending Cape Fear Valley Conference (CFVC) champion Bears displayed complete control on both sides of the ball throughout the game, cruising to a 49-0 league victory.
Led by senior running back Parker Williams, the visiting team’s deep and versatile first-string backfield trio totaled 360 rushing yards in the first two quarters.
Williams finished the half with 182 yards on five carries, including rushing scores of 46 and 93 yards. Junior running back Ken McDowell had 80 yards on five carries, including a 23-yard touchdown for Gray’s Creek, while senior Tory Davis ran the ball eight times for 66 yards in the opening half.
Through one quarter, the visiting Bears held a 21-0 lead over the Vikings. By halftime, that margin had doubled, leaving Gray’s Creek in front 42-0 at intermission.
While it was Gray’s Creek’s offense that provided most of the points, the Bears’ defense scored twice in the first half. Free safety Ken Ford recovered a Viking fumble and returned it 33 yards to get the visitors on the board with 8:47 left to play in the first period. A little more than four minutes later, he pulled down an interception near midfield.
The Bears’ second defensive touchdown of the half came on a 36-yard return, when linebacker Steven Thompkins picked off a pass by Viking quarterback Braxton Ross and took it to the house.
The scoring play gave Gray’s Creek a 34-0 lead at the 9:08 mark of the second quarter. Stephen Nalls’ fifth of seven successful PAT kicks in the game made the margin 35-0.
Following one of several lengthy punts on the night by Viking junior Kyle Rakers, the Bears needed just two plays from scrimmage on their next possession to span 97 yards. After a four-yard gain by McDowell, Williams broke free on a sweep to the right for a 93-yard rush to pay dirt to cap off the first half scoring with 6:46 left in the second quarter.
Union Pines’ offense picked up one first down in the first half while amassing a total of 26 yards on 24 plays. In contrast, the Bears tallied 14 first downs in the half and gaining 371 yards of offense on 25 plays.
With the outcome clearly decided as the teams lined up for the third-quarter kickoff, the entire second half was played with a running clock.
Union Pines dropped to 0-2 in league play and 2-4 overall with the loss, while the Bears improved to 5-1 on the season and 1-1 in CFVC competition.
The defeat was Union Pines’ ninth straight in CFVC action as the Vikings are now 2-18 in their last 20 conference games.
The Vikes are scheduled to play their second game this week, Friday at 7:30 p.m., in a CFVC tilt against the Western Harnett Eagles in Lillington.
Western Harnett is 1-5 overall and 0-1 in league action after falling to league rival Southern Lee (5-1, 2-0 CFVC) last week.
Gray’s Creek 21 21 7 0 — 49
Union Pines 0 0 0 0 — 0
Scoring: (GC) Ford 33–fumble return (Stephen Nalls kick); (GC) McDowell 23-run (Nalls kick); (GC) Williams 46-run (Nalls kick); (GC) Davis 2-run (Nalls kick); (GC) Thompkins 36-interception return (Nalls kick); (OH) Williams 93-run (Nalls kick); (GC) Fred Hall 77-run (Nalls kick).
Team stats: Rushing – GC 35-484; UP 24-29; Passing – GC 1-2, 11yds; UP 6-15, 28yds 2 INT; First Downs – GC 18; UP 2; Penalties – GC 2-20; UP 2-15; All-Purpose (Total) – GC 568; Union Pines 137. Fumbles – GC 3/3; UP 2/1. Individual stat leaders: Rushing – (GC) Williams 5-182 2 TD, Hall 3-99 TD, McDowell 5-80 TD, Davis 8-66 TD; (UP) A.J. Ritter 9-12, Lee Barber 4-8, Ross 5-7; Passing – (GC) Caleb McNeill 1-2, 11yds; (UP) Ross 6-14, 28 yds 2 INT; Receiving – (GC) Davis 1-11, (UP) Parris Manning 5-26.
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