Big second half carries EPC to win over Marked Tree
EPC (4-0-1, 3-0-1) used a 30 point second half to finally put Marked Tree (1-4, 1-3) away with a 50-26 win over their conference rivals last Thursday at Warrior Field. The score was 20-14 at the half.
Candon Argo returned the opening kick-off for a touchdown only to see a penalty on the Junior Warriors negate the score and give EPC the ball on their own 46-yard line. Kade Jennings scampered for 16 yards on the first play, Argo gained six yards on the second play before Jennings found the end zone from 20 yards out to make it 6-0 Junior Warriors with 6:31 left. The two-point conversion run was no good. Aiden McGuire returned the ensuing kick-off to the Marked Tree 28-yard line to set the Junior Indians up for their possession. Marked Tree wasted little time as Brylan Honeycutt hit BJ Marshall in stride for a 72 yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 6-6 with 6:04 left. The two-point conversion was no good keeping the score tied. EPC's offense sputtered on their second possession as they punted with the ball being downed on the Marked Tree 25-yard line. Marked Tree also had to punt on their next possession but Barry Rossell, Jr muffed the punt with the Junior Indians recovering at the EPC 40-yard line with 2:13 left. Marked Tree again wasted little time as LaRay Brown bolted 40 yards on the first play to give the Junior Indians a 12-6 lead. Honeycutt found Aayden Johnson for the two-point conversion pass to make it 14-6 Marked Tree with 1:57 left in the opening quarter. EPC answered almost as quickly as they used two plays to cover 52 yards with Jennings getting six yards before Josh Gilmore sprinted 46 yards for the score with :54 seconds left to make it 14-12 Marked Tree. The two-point conversion run was no good. The Junior Indians started their next drive on their 49-yard line as a high snap on first down lost nine yards with the first quarter ending with Marked Tree leading 14-12.
Marked Tree faced second and nineteen on their own 40-yard line to start the second quarter with Brown running for six yards on the first play. Honeycutt kept the ball for eight yards to the EPC 46-yard line before McGuire broke loose for 41 yards to the Junior Warriors' five-yard line. A holding penalty on second down moved the ball back tot he EPC 15-yard line as Dennis Gained blitzed in for an EPC sack to make it third down on the EPC 20-yard line. A chop block penalty on the Junior Indians moved the ball to the Junior Warriors' 25-yard line as Itavious Nesbit picked up one yard on third down. Honeycutt's fourth down pass was incomplete as Marked Tree turned the ball over on downs at the EPC 24-yard line with 3:19 left in the half. Argo picked up 31 yards on first down to the Marked Tree 45-yard line. Gilmore picked up 14 more yards before Brown got five yard tackle for loss for the Junior Indians moving the ball to the Marked Tree 36-yard line. Jennings broke free and raced 36 yards for the touchdown on the next play to make it 18-14 EPC with 1:46 left. Carter Smith found Argo open on the two-point pass play making it 20-14 Junior Warriors. EPC's kick-off went out of bounds as Marked Tree got it on their own 40-yard line. After an incomplete pass on first down, Brown coughed up the football with Fernando Peneloza recovering for EPC at the Marked Tree 44-yard line with 1:35 left. Smith passed to Rossell, Jr on two straight plays gaining only three yards before back to back incomplete passes turned the ball over on downs to the Junior Indians with 39 seconds left. Jennings and Argo combined for a 15 yard tackle for loss on the first play as Marked Tree let the clock run out with EPC leading 20-14 at the half.
Complete game article in October 11 edition of the PCDT!