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ELIZABETHTOWN – Elizabethtown rallied in the second half to defeat Bladenboro 22-8 Tuesday night in the Bladen Five Middle School Conference opener for both teams.

Jalyn Newkirk ran for a first quarter touchdown then ran the 2-point conversion to give the Bulldogs an 8-0 lead.

The Bulldog defense blanked the Cougars in the first half, but Elizabethtown quarterback Raymond Autry scrambled on a broken play and raced 60 yards for the first Cougar touchdown in the third quarter. Timothy McLean ran for the tying 2-point conversion.

Later in the period McLean turned the corner on the left side of the line and sprinted 40 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. Malcolm Bolden carried into the end zone for the 2-point conversion and a 16-8 Elizabethtown lead.

Elizabethtown’s Chase Starkloff cut back against the grain and broke loose for a 30-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to pad the margin to 22-8.

“It was a rough first game for both teams,” said Cougar Coach Ricky Melvin. “We have to be more disciplined. We had several touchdowns called back.”