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Battle of the Carolinas Football: East Bladen 8, Purnell Swett 0

LUMBERTON – Senior Zaquis Leach galloped 64 yards for a second half touchdown as East Bladen defeated Purnell Swett 8-0 Monday night in the Battle of the Carolinas football scrimmage.

Purnell Swett began the second half with a 48-yard, 11-play drive that reached the Eagle 32-yard line. On the next play, quarterback Micah Carter’s pass was tipped and East Bladen’s Lawson Hester intercepted inside the Eagle 20-yard line.

Photos by Kenneth Armstrong

A penalty on the return pushed the Eagles back to the 12-yard line, but junior Rasean McKoy picked up 11 yards, and Leach rammed through the middle for 16 yards. Two plays later Leach barreled through the line, shook off a tackler and raced 64 yards for the touchdown. McKoy banged through the right side for the 2-point conversion and an 8-0 lead.

The Rams picked up a pair of first downs and moved to the Eagle 38-yard line on their next possession, but Leach threw Carter for an 8-yard loss and East Bladen took over on downs at their own 46-yard line.

Leach carried 3 times for 96 yards to lead the Eagle runners. Rasean McKoy gained 72 yards on 7 rushes, senior Kasey Price added 25 yards on 7 attempts, and Hester netted 24 yards on 5 carries.

“Rasean had some good runs for us, and Zaquis broke the big one,” said Eagle Coach Robby Priest. I really like our offensive line. We have 4-of-5 starters returning from last year, and they did a good job. I can’t even talk to those guys. They are a lot smarter than me. The line has like a 4.2 average GPA.”

The Eagles missed out on a pair of first half scoring chances. A 19-yard run by McKoy, and an 8-yard burst by Hester highlighted a 60-yard, 8-play drive that was stopped by a fumbled snap at the Ram 20-yard line.

On their next possession, East Bladen covered 47 yards in 11 plays and reached the Swett 11-yard line before a sack stalled the drive. McKoy ignited the drive with runs of 9 and 13 yards. Leach broke loose for 16 yards, and Price had a 10-yard run.

“We are not very deep (32 players), and I am really happy with the shape that we are in,” said Priest. “We have got to keep working on that.”

Carter completed 4 of 10 passes for 51 yards with one interception to lead the Ram offense. East Bladen rushed for 211 yards and held a 211-145 edge in total yards.

East Bladen will travel to Warsaw Kenan for another scrimmage Friday night.

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