ROWLAND – Junior Eric Chancy and senior Xavier Wooten keyed an East Bladen rushing attack that piled up 347 rushing yards en route to a 49-12 Three Rivers Conference football victory over South Robeson Friday night.
Chancy rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown to lead the Eagles, while Wooten ran for 77 yards and two touchdowns. Senior quarterback Quinton Bedsole completed 3 of 11 passes for 69 yards and a touchdown as the Eagles totaled 416 yards of offense.
After forcing a South Robeson punt, the Eagles covered 56 yards in 5 plays. Chancy popped through the middle on a counter-play and dashed 42 yards for a touchdown. Junior Pierce Melvin booted the first of his 7 extra points to put East Bladen ahead 7-0 with 8:33 left in the first period.
On their next possession the Eagles moved 53 yards in 9 plays. Wooten opened the drive with a 12-yard run, and Chancy reeled off runs of 9 and 7 yards. Fullback Xavia McDowell banged through the line for 10 yards, and Wooten scooted 14 yards for the touchdown. Melvin tacked on the point for a 14-0 lead with 4:31 on the first quarter clock.
The Mustangs were stopped on a fourth down play at their own 34 yardline. Two plays later the Eagles were in the end zone again. Bedsole connected with senior Adonis Avery for a 12-yard gain and a late hit penalty moved the ball to the South Robeson 11.
Junior Josh McKoy flew around left end on the jet sweep for the touchdown. Melvin nailed his third extra point kick for a 21-0 lead 1:14 before the quarter break.
The Mustangs answered quickly as Darius Wright bolted up the middle for 40 yards, and Jamearos McLeod darted 20 yards on the next play for the touchdown that trimmed the margin to 21-6 with 27 seconds left in the period. “We had a couple of lapses there on defense,” said East Bladen Coach Robby Priest.
P. J. Christian sacked the Eagle quarterback to force a fumble and recovered the ball at the East Bladen 23 yardline. McLeod snagged a swing pass from quarterback Tyler Locklear that gained 21 yards. Two plays later Locklear escaped pressure and flipped a 2-yard touchdown pass to Darrius Brown that closed the gap to 21-12 with 9:27 on the first half clock.
East Bladen regained control with a 52-yard, 12-play drive that consumed 5:30 off the second quarter clock. Wooten snared a 27-yard swing pass from Bedsole for an apparent touchdown that was nullified by a blindside block.
Chancy picked up gains of 6, 10, 8 and 6 yards on the drive, and Wooten battered the left side for 9 yards before powering into the end zone from a yard out for the touchdown. Melvin kicked the point for a 28-12 lead at the 3:57 mark.
Junior Dayveon Washington sacked the Mustang quarterback for a 10-yard loss back to the four yardline to force a punt that gave the Eagles possession at the South Robeson 36. On the next play Bedsole threw a strike to junior Shy Pone who was streaking down the right side on a 36-yard touchdown play. Melvin split the uprights for a 35-12 lead with 1:52 left in the half.
Bedsole fired a 52-yard touchdown pass to Pone on the first play of the second half, but an illegal formation penalty nullified the score. Six plays later Brown scooped up an Eagle fumble and returned it 48 yards to the East Bladen 20 yardline, but the East defense stiffened and took over on downs at the Eagle twelve.
The Eagles marched 88 yards in 9 plays. McDowell plowed through the middle on runs of 16, 10 and 14 yards. Junior James Higgins rammed through the line for 15 yards then skirted left end and broke 2 tackles on a 22-yard touchdown run. Melvin converted the point for a 42-12 lead 2:42 before the quarter break.
Christian’s 33-yard kick-off return put the Mustangs on the Eagle 45 yardline, but the East Bladen defense held and took over on downs at the 40 yardline.
With the clock running continuously, East Bladen’s second-team offense drove 60 yards in ten plays for the final touchdown. Higgins gained 6 yards on fourth-and-one before sophmore Kasey Price bulled through the middle for 15 yards. Sophmore Lawson Hester galloped 15 yards for the touchdown, and Melvin finished a perfect 7 for 7 night on extra point kicks for the 49-12 final.
McDowell finished with 55 yards rushing, and Higgins ran for 46 yards.
“It felt like a first game all over again,” said Coach Priest referencing East Bladen’s week off due to the East Columbus forfeit last week. “I was pleased with the situation stuff – the hurry-up and up-tempo offense whether we were in the ‘bone’ or in the ‘gun’. We got to spike the ball and work the clock.”
Locklear completed 7 of 10 passes for 49 yards and a touchdown for the Mustangs. McLeod caught 2 passes for 24 yards, and Wright rushed 12 times for 56 yards. South Robeson finished with 105 yards of total offense.
East Bladen, now 7-1 in league play and 9-1 overall, will host rival West Bladen Friday night.