Eagles Pull Away from Mustangs
North Moore and East Montgomery football teams’ opening offensive drives for the Eagles’ homecoming Friday turned out to be an early indicator for the rest of the game.
The Mustangs took the opening kickoff and had a four-minute dive, but penalties stalled the drive forcing a punt that was partially blocked. It took the Eagles only three plays to score on a 42-yard run by senior Chad Smith. East would go on to tack on six more touchdowns, most set up on long plays for a 45-0 victory over the Mustangs.
North Moore drops to 0-4 in Yadkin Valley Conference action and 0-8 overall while the Eagles improve to 2-2 in league play and 3-5 overall.
The Mustangs actually won the battle of time of possession, controlling the ball nearly five more minutes than East. It was the Eagles’ quick-strike offense that doomed the Mustangs, that and inopportune penalties.
The game ended with the two teams combining for 24 penalties with the Mustangs tallying 11 for 53 yards and the Eagles 13 for 105 yards.
East’s senior running back Santrel Durham was the Eagles’ top offensive threat, rushing for three touchdowns and catching one of two of Avery Jackson’s two scoring strikes. Durham finished with 76 yards rushing and had two receptions for 49 yards. Jackson went five for nine for 119 yards with no interceptions and rushed for 45 yards. In fact the Eagles didn’t turn the ball over during the contest while the Mustangs lost one fumble and had one interception by Eagle senior Daniel Harman.
The Mustangs took the opening kickoff and started out like it was going to be a scoring drive, starting at their 23-yard line. However, during the drive, flags were thrown five times with three going against the Mustangs. Getting some good runs from seniors Landon Auman and Kyle Kidd, along with a pair of pass receptions by Auman from sophomore quarterback Kirby Lambert, the Mustangs marched to midfield where the drive stalled on a couple of penalties.
The ensuing punt was partially blocked, going only 13 yards and preventing the Mustangs from pinning East deep in their territory.
“We were moving the ball and then we had those penalties and that started our downward spiral,” said North Moore coach Greg Simmons. “We were very emotional going into the game and we got rattled. We didn’t do a very good job of handling our emotions. We have to do a better job of controlling our emotions.”
On the Eagles’ third offensive play, Smith ripped off his 42-yard scamper for the game’s first score. Luis Rodriguez booted the first of his extra points, giving East a 7-0 lead with 6:57 left in the first quarter.
The touchdown opened the gates for the Eagles’ scoring in the opening period when East added two more scores during the frame. The next touchdown was set up when North Moore had terrible field position after the kickoff, starting at the Mustangs’ six-yard line. The Mustangs were unable to punch the ball out of the shadow of their goal post, forcing a punt that traveled only 19 yards to the Mustangs 24-yard line.
This time it took only three plays to go the distance with the final 11 yards coming on Jackson’s pass to C.J. Robinson. Rodriguez kick was good, giving East a 14-0 lead with 3:26 left in the first quarter.
The Eagles’ next touchdown was set up by Harman’s interception that he returned to North’s 48-yard line. Jackson hooked up with Ahmad Baldwin for a 29-yard gain to the 19 where Durham ran for his first touchdown. The extra point attempt was blocked by Kidd, leaving East on top 20-0 with 1:15 left in the period.
The Eagles only score in the second quarter came on the half’s final play when Durham took a pass from Jackson for a 24-yard touchdown. The kick was wide, giving East a 26-0 lead going into the locker room.
Durham added two touchdowns in the third period on runs of 25 yards and one yard. The Eagles didn’t convert either extra-point kick with senior captain Ethan Sessoms blocking one of the attempts. The Eagles added one more touchdown in the fourth quarter on a seven-yard run by Brandon Reza. Rodriguez booted the extra point for the final 45-0 score.
“We did some good things and we were able to move the ball on them, but mental mistakes and miscues hurt us once again,” said Simmons. “Defensively we played well, but we missed some tackles and they were able to take advantage.”
Auman finished the game with 19 rushing yards and pulled in three passes for another 20 yards. Kidd had 24 yards rushing and junior Matt Gurraro led the team with 29 yards. Gurraro had four punts, averaging 29 yards including a 54-yard punt in the first half.
The Mustangs stay on the road for another conference contest when they travel to South Stanly Friday. The Rebel Bulls beat West Montgomery 35-24 to remain tied for second place in the league’s standings with a 3-1 record. The game is scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m.
More like this story