PILOT MOUNTAIN — East Surry broke a 0-0 tie in the fourth quarter with a pair of touchdowns to win 14-7 over Bishop McGuinness.
The Cardinals were well ahead in both yardage and time of possession in the first three quarters, but the scoreboard was a different story.
“There were turnovers and some penalties in the first half, mistakes that we don’t usually make,” said Coach David Diamont.
On their first drive, the Cards moved to midfield before a fumble gave the ball to Bishop.
On the next drive, the Cards had a first-and-5 play from the 20-yard line, but John Dickenson threw an interception in the end zone.
Keanu Love got a partial deflection on a punt to give the Cards the ball at their 41-yard line. They marched down the field before Dickenson was intercepted at the 29-yard line.
Diamont said he watched film of Bishop, and they looked thin on the defensive line.
For this game, some players were back from injury and made a difference against East’s running attempts.
With the runners slowed, the Cards tried some quick wide receiver screens to the outside to spread the defense out. Then running lanes opened up.
Late in the third quarter, East’s Andrew Kozlow booted a 38-yard field goal, but was knocked down on the play. Diamont elected to take the points off the board and accept the penalty. However, Dickenson was picked off in the end zone again to stop the drive.
Fullback/linebacker Casey Marion went down, clutching his left knee.
Fellow linebacker J.T. Lichtenberger was called on to play fullback.
On fourth-and-4, Lichtenberger picked up a key first down. Then he took a handoff from the 19-yard line down to the 5. From there, he scored the first touchdown of the game for a 7-0 lead with 10:58 left in the fourth.
After an exchange of punts, East’s Gage Edwards picked off a long pass deep in Card territory and ran it back to the 47-yard line.
East marched down the field with Lucas Koons scoring from 20 yards out for a 14-0 lead with 2:13 left.
“We have a great bunch of kids,” said Diamont. “Our running back, Lucas Koons, didn’t practice all week long (with an ankle injury). He carried the ball 24 times for 123 yards.”
At the end of the game, Bishop finally scored to make it 14-7, but East Surry fell on an onside kick.
“We’re sitting at 7-1,” said Diamont. “Some of the games we played were ugly, but maybe that’s the nature of the beast. In the long run it looks better and better.”
The Cards travel to North Stokes next week.