Late scores send EPC to thrilling win
The EPC Warriors travelled to the Cotton Patch in Wilson this past Friday to take on the Rivercrest Colts in high school football. The first half saw a touchdown by each team before the scoring picked up in the second half with the Warriors scoring late to come out with a 28-27 win.
Each team traded punts on their first few series before the Colts got a big punt return down to the Warriors 12-yard line. The Colts took two plays to cover the 12 yards and score. The point after gave Rivercrest a 7-0 lead. The Warriors got a break as they recovered a fumbled punt late in the opening period to set themselves up at the Colts 43-yard line. EPC took advantage of the turnover as Aaron Scales hooked up with Quinn Young on a 38-yard touchdown pass with 2:40 left in the first quarter. The duo tried to hook up again for the two-point play but was denied making the score 7-6 Colts.
EPC got a big punt return from Trevor McDaniel down to the Rivercrest 31-yard line. The Colts were flagged for a personal foul that moved the ball down to the 16-yard line. Byron Scales took a hand off and scored from 11-yards out to make it 12-7 with 7:04 left before half. The two-point play was again no good. Rivercrest drove down to the EPC five-yard line only to see the Warriors defense rise up and make a goal line stand and take over on downs. EPC gave the ball right back to the Colts as they fumbled at their own eight-yard line. The Warriors defense stood strong again denying the Colts a score to take over on downs once again. The teams went to the locker rooms at half with the score 12-7 EPC.
Rivercrest regained the lead with 8:55 left as they scored on a 22-yard touchdown pass. The extra-point made the score 14-12. The EPC defense came up big again as Quinn Young intercepted a Rivercrest psss and returned it 55-yards for the touchdown. Aaron Scales ran in the two-point play to make it 20-14 EPC with 5:22 left in the third quarter. Neither team could muster much offense for the remainder of the quarter.
Rivercrest opted for a new quarterback and it paid off as they drove down and he scored on an eight-yard keeper. The PAT made it 21-20 Colts. T.J. Young had a big kickoff return for EPC setting up the Warriors with first and ten on the Colts 48-yard line. The Colts defense came up with an interception and Rivercrest capitalized on it as their running back went 79 yards for a touchdown. The PAT was not good leaving the score 27-20 with 8:45 left. The teams exchanged punts with the Warriors setting up offense with 3:31 left. The Warriors used a combination of runs and passes to move the ball down field to the Colts five-yard line. Byron Scales punched the ball in from the five to bring the Warriors to within one at 27-26. Byron Scales got the call again on the two-point play and again he punched it in from three yards out to make it 28-27 with 38 seconds left. Clay Malone sealed the win with an interception in the final seconds of the game.
After catching his breath, EPC coach Brian Weathers had this to say about his team. "We made plays when we needed them but shot ourselves in the foot by giving up to many yards on special teams. To come into the Cotton Patch and beat the number three team in the state (Class 3A) as ugly as we played I'll take it. The defense played huge all night, I can't be more prouder for them but we have to work harder to get where we want to be." Weather praised Byron Scales saying, "Heart of a champion!" "Tristan McDaniel said in the timeout huddle that they couldn't stop Byron (Scales) with him blocking...and they didn't! Love my Warriors!" Weathers added.
Byron Scales led the way offensively with two touchdowns and a two point conversion run. Aaron Scales threw for 96 yards with one touchdown and added a two-point conversion run.
Paul Pilgrim led the Warriors defense with 15 tackles and a sack. Byron Scales totaled 12 tackles with a sack as Aaron Scales had nine tackles. Quinn Young and Malone each had an interception.