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Football: East Bladen 49, South Robeson 14

ELIZABETHTOWN – East Bladen’s Eagles raced to a 42-8 halftime lead and celebrated Senior Night with a 49-14 running clock Three Rivers Conference football victory over South Robeson.

“It was a good way to send these seniors out,” said Eagle Coach Robby Priest. “A lot of them have spent 3 years on the varsity, and it was good for them to go out on a good note in their final home game…. and nobody got hurt.”

After the East defense stymied the Mustangs on their first possession, a 5-yard South Robeson punt gave the Eagles possession on the South Robeson 22 yardline.

Four plays later junior Kasey Price banged through several tacklers to score standing up on a 12-yard run. Junior Gabe Barber booted the extra point for a 7-0 East lead at the 8:15 mark.

Two plays later senior Josh McKoy intercepted a Mustang pass at South Robeson’s 48 yardline. Six plays later the Eagles were in the end zone. Sophmore quarterback Zach Meares flipped a swing pass to senior Shy Pone for a 10-yard gain.

Junior Lawson Hester took a quick toss and galloped 14 yards, and a face mask penalty added 15 more yards to the play. Two plays later Hester broke loose on a counter-play and dashed 12 yards for the touchdown. Barber who was a perfect 7 for 7 on conversion kicks tacked on the point for a 14-0 lead.

A 58-yard kick-off return by senior Tylek Baker woke up the Mustang offense. Emilio Leach picked up a first down with a 10-yard run, before junior quarterback Tyler Locklear sneaked one yard for the touchdown. Junior Jamearos McLeod bulled into the end zone for the 2-point conversion that trimmed the margin to 14-8 with 3:20 left in the quarter.

Two plays later Meares rolled to his left and hurled a strike to junior Xavier McKoy who was racing down the left sideline. McKoy reeled in the catch and dashed to the end zone to complete the 55-yard touchdown play. Barber split the uprights again for a 21-8 lead with 1:36 on the first period clock.

The Eagles covered 49 yards in 5 plays on their next possession. Pone scooted 21 yards on the jet sweep to start the drive. Meares completed 5-yard passes to sophmore Rasean McKoy and Pone, then bolted 18 yards up the middle on the quarterback draw for a touchdown. Barber’s kick pushed the lead to 28-8 with 10:48 before halftime.

On their next possession the Eagles flew 72 yards in just 5 plays. Price picked up a first down with an 8-yard run. Two plays later senior Eric Chancy took a quick pitch and sprinted 58 yards for a touchdown. Barber nailed the conversion to boost the lead to 35-8 with 5:27 remaining in the half.

A bad snap in punt formation by the Mustangs turned the ball over to the Eagles at the South Robeson 45 yardline. Meares connected with Pone in the right flat and the shifty senior bobbed-and-weaved 39 yards to the 6 yardline. Price spun through a pair of tacklers for the touchdown on the next play. Barber converted again for a 42-8 lead with 2:02 on the clock.

East Bladen opened the second half with a 64-yard scoring drive in 7 plays. Rasean McKoy banged through the line for a 12-yard gain. Josh McKoy ripped off runs of 7, 7, and 5 yards before outrunning the defense on a 24-yard touchdown run. Barber kicked the point for a 49-8 lead that started the running clock.

Baker hauled in a 29-yard touchdown pass from Locklear with 9:33 left in the game that whittled the final margin to 49-14.

Chancy led the Eagle ground attack with 88 yards and a touchdown on 9 carries. Josh McKoy finished with 43 yards and a touchdown on 4 rushes. Price ran the ball 4 times for 28 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Meares completed 5 of 7 passes for 114 yards and a touchdown and also ran for a touchdown. Xavier McKoy snared the 55-yard touchdown pass, and Pone caught 3 passes for 54 yards.

The Eagles totaled 263 yards rushing and 377 total yards. “We threw a little more to try to save ourselves from some of the pounding,” said Coach Priest. “We have played 3 games in 9 days, plus it also gave us a chance to work on our passing game.”

McLeod rushed 15 times for 94 yards to lead the Mustangs. Locklear completed 3 of 6 passes for 68 yards and a touchdown with one interception.

The Eagles improved to 7-0 in league play and remained tied with South Columbus for first place in the Three Rivers. East Bladen is 8-1 overall and will travel to rival West Bladen Friday night.

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