Chargers Knock Off the Vikes
The Union Pines football team ended up on the short side of a 34-10 tally against Northwood on homecoming night Friday at Woodrow Wilhoit Stadium.
Two touchdowns in the final 50.7 seconds of the second quarter gave the visiting 2-A Chargers a commanding 20-3 halftime lead in the nonconference contest in Cameron.
With the loss Union Pines fell to 2-8 on the season, while Northwood’s record improved to 5-5.
Northwood quarterback Ti Pinnix had a strong opening half to help stake his team to the 17-point intermission lead. The six-foot sophomore racked up 206 total yards in the opening two stanzas, completing 11 of 19 throws for 125 yards and a touchdown through the air, to go on top of 81 rushing yards.
Pinnix opened the scoring when he broke loose on a quarterback counter for a 37-yard scamper to pay dirt with 3.6 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Placekicker Anthony Castro’s first of four successful extra point boots made it a 7-0 lead.
The Charger score came via a five-play, 80-yard drive directly following a missed 38-yard field goal attempt by Union Pines senior kicker Adam Howard with 2:07 left in the quarter.
On their ensuing drive the Vikings answered back by putting three points on the board at the 2:54 mark of the second quarter when Howard split the uprights on a 19-yard field goal to make it a 7-3 game.
The Vikings totaled 49 yards on seven plays, but were left with a fourth-and-goal at the two as head coach Ryan Riggan opted to send out his field goal unit. Senior fullback Shakeem McRae gained 36 of his 73 first-half rushing yards on the drive and tacked on another eight with a reception near the goal line to set up the kick.
Northwood then took control of the tilt in the remainder of the half.
After Union Pines attempted an onside kick, the Chargers were left with a short field at their own 41. It took the visitors eight plays and 2:01 of game time to travel 59 yards and find the end zone. The capper came on a 26-yard connection on a fade pass by Pinnix down the left sideline that Colton Anderson grabbed at the two before crossing the goal line.
With less than a minute left in the opening half the Vikings then fumbled on their first play from scrimmage. The turnover gave the ball back to the visitors at the Union Pines 33 and proved costly. Northwood scored with seven seconds remaining on a six-yard dive up the gut out of the pistol formation by sophomore running back Kadarus Rone.
Union Pines received the kickoff to start the third quarter and promptly picked up a first down at its own 45 on an 11-yard scramble by sophomore signal caller Emmitt Carden. But 30 yards of penalties thwarted the drive, forcing a Viking punt that gave the ball to the Chargers at their 45-yard line.
Northwood needed only three plays to find the end zone and extend its lead to 27-3. Rone, who rushed for 92-yards in the second half on seven carries, punched the ball in on a five-yard draw with 6:37 remaining in the third period after setting up first-and-goal with a 55-yard gain.
Union Pines turned the ball over on each of its next two possessions, first with a fumble — that eventually led to a 29-yard touchdown toss by Pinnix to senior receiver Aumad Walker with 54.6 seconds left in the third frame — then on a turnover on downs.
The Vikings finally found the end zone on their last possession of the night. The score came on a pass down the left sideline by Carden that senior wideout Dionte Williams caught in traffic at the Charger 26 before taking it the rest of the way home for six points on a 64-yard touchdown reception. Howard’s kick capped the scoring at 34-10 with 1:14 remaining in the game.
Two Vike defensive players had standout performances in the loss. Junior strong side linebacker Kaleb Johnson tallied four sacks, four hurries and a forced fumble on the night, while senior linebacker Daquan Cotton finished with three hurries, two sacks and two pass deflections.
Union Pines closes the season this Friday with senior night back at Wilhoit Stadium, in a 3-A Cape Fear Valley Conference clash with the Douglas Byrd Eagles.
Northwood 7 13 14 0 — 34
Union Pines 0 3 0 7 — 10
Scoring: (N) Pinnix 37-run (Castro Kick); (UP) Howard 19-field goal; (N) Anderson 26-pass from Pinnix (failed conversion); (N) Rone 6-run (Castro kick), (N) Rone 5-run (Castro kick), (N) Walker 29-pass from Pinnix (Castro Kick); (UP) D. Williams 64-pass from Carden (Howard kick).
Team stats: Rushing – (N) 25-196, 3 TD; (UP) 35-129; Passing – (N) 13-24, 161yds, 2 TD; (UP) 7-14, 146yds, TD; First Downs – (N) 17; (UP) 11; Penalties – (N) 10-80; (UP) 8-76; All-Purpose (Total) – (N) 396; (UP) 302; Fumbles/Lost – (N) 3/2; (UP) 4/2; Punts (N) 3; (UP) 4
Individual stats: Rushing – (N) Rone 7-92, Pinnix 14-80, Walker 3-20, A. Leviner; (UP) McRae 12-82, Carden 9-45, M. Quick 4-3, B. Lawrence 2-3, E. Benitez 2-5; Passing – (N) Pinnix 13-24 161 2-0; (UP) Carden 5-9 63 1-0, P. Hall 1-1 19 0-0; Receiving – (N) Walker 4-64, Anderson 3-49, B. Harrington 3-20,C. Smith 2-16, Leviner 1-9, Rone 1-6; (UP) Williams 3-91, McRae 2-25, K. Rakers 1-19, Benitez 1-11.
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