PILOT MOUNTAIN — N.C. State wasn’t the one soccer staff that pulled off an unbelievable comeback Friday evening.
East Surry overcame a 14-point deficit in opposition to Maiden by scoring two touchdowns within the ultimate 7:25 of play and sealing the victory with a late interception. The fourth-quarter comeback gave the Cardinals a 36-35 win within the fourth spherical of the 2A State Playoffs, which sends East Surry again to the Last 4 for the fourth-straight 12 months.
“I informed the blokes this could be the most effective win I’ve ever been part of,” stated East Surry coach Trent Lowman.
The fourth-year Cardinal head coach stated the win over Maiden ranked in the identical class of significance as East Surry’s 2019 1AA State Championship win over Tarboro and the highway win over defending 2A State Champion Reidsville earlier that 12 months.
“However how do you even go about rating these three,” he stated.
Regardless of being the No. 2 seed within the 2A West, East Surry was named a six-point underdog in opposition to Maiden by Simmons Ratings. The Cardinals (13-0) had been additionally picked to lose their third-round sport in opposition to Monroe by the location, but in addition received that game by a degree.
Lowman stated the Cardinal gamers by no means even thought of that their season would finish in November.
“These children, I’m telling you, they imagine they will beat anyone that traces up in entrance of them…and thus far they’ve,” Lowman stated. “We’ve obtained a number of guys which have performed in two or three soccer state title video games, and a few which have additionally competed for a baseball state championship. They’ve been there and can do something to get again. Then we’ve obtained others that don’t have a lot championship expertise which might be simply so devoted to the staff they are going to put within the work.”
“The arrogance they’ve in one another and the buy-in to us as a training workers is not like any I’ve ever seen earlier than. It’s a real testomony to this group and the good job accomplished by their dad and mom.”
East Surry continued its streak of standout defensive efficiency in opposition to the Blue Devils (13-1) by forcing 4 turnovers. Maiden quarterback Ben Gibbs solely threw 4 interceptions by means of the Devils’ first 13 video games, however was picked off by East Surry thrice: twice by Luke Bowman and as soon as by Folger Boaz.
Bowman additionally blocked a PAT, and compelled a fumble that he recovered himself and returned 48 yards for a landing. East Surry now has a minimum of one interception in every of its final eight video games and has pressured a number of turnovers in 8-of-13 video games this season.
Lowman praised defensive coordinator Randy Marion and all of the defensive coaches for his or her work this 12 months after the Cardinals misplaced most of their defensive starters from final season.
“Our defensive workers doesn’t get the credit score they actually deserve,” Lowman stated. “The defensive success comes from participant growth and the preparation the coaches do to get guys able to play. Coach Marion is the most effective I’ve seen at getting plenty of guys in-game expertise early within the season in order that they have the boldness to return in and make a distinction late within the 12 months.”
Kyle Zinn led East Surry with 15 whole tackles, together with 1.0 deal with for a loss. Brett Clayton added 10 tackles, adopted by Hatcher Hamm with 9, Joseph Grezmak with seven and Kole Pruitt with six.
The Cardinal offense completed with 352 whole yards and turned the ball over simply as soon as. Boaz handed for all 210 of East’s yards within the air on 17-of-24 completions, and likewise threw the staff’s solely landing go to Trey Armstrong. Boaz additionally carried the ball 25 occasions for 105 yards and two touchdowns.
Armstrong was the one participant apart from Boaz to earn constructive speeding yards. The senior rushed 11 occasions for 40 yards and landing. Armstrong was additionally the main receiver with seven catches for 67 and a TD. Layton Allen added 5 catches for 57 yards, Luke Brown had one catch for 35 yards, Stephen Brantley had three receptions for 33 yards and Colby Johnson had one catch for 18 yards.
The Cardinals acquired the opening kickoff and rapidly put factors on the board. East rushed 5 occasions and handed thrice because the Playing cards marched 83 yards in 3:04. Boaz ran the landing in, and Brantley hit his first of 4 PATs to offer East a 7-0 benefit.
Maiden’s lethal passing offense was held beneath 180 yards for the sixth time this season as QB Ethan Rhodes went for 178 yards on 9-of-19 completions. Rhodes was held to single-digit completions for simply fourth time this season, however the Devils did handle to increase their streak of passing touchdowns. Rhodes discovered Alec Corridor for a 32-yard TD reception simply 92 seconds after East’s landing.
The Cardinals punted on their subsequent drive, however obtained the ball again on Bowman’s first interception. This led on to Boaz’s second speeding landing later within the first quarter.
East Surry held on to its lead till Rhodes punched in a 1-yard TD with 3:46 left within the second quarter. A penalty on East Surry moved Maiden nearer to the aim line for the purpose after, so Rhodes ran it in himself to place the Devils up 15-14.
Maiden constructed its lead up two minutes later when Ben Gibbs, who rushed 30 occasions for 150 yards, scored his first of two speeding touchdowns. The PAT was blocked by Bowman to go away the rating at 21-14. This was East Surry’s first halftime deficit of the season.
Issues went from unhealthy to worse for the house staff when Maiden scored to open the second half. The Cardinals charged right down to the Blue Satan 33, however turned the ball over on downs.
Bowman helped get the Cardinals again on observe when he stripped a Maiden receiver and returned the fumble 48 yards to the tip zone. The Playing cards kicked off to the Blue Devils just for Bowman to select Rhodes off once more. Rhodes was held to a completion proportion of .474 on 9-of-19 passing. Previous to Friday’s sport, Rhodes solely had two video games of a number of interceptions in three seasons.
East Surry had an opportunity to tie issues up, however turned the ball over with 2:24 left within the third quarter. Maiden held the ball for shut to 5 minutes of sport time earlier than Rhodes threw his second passing landing of the sport.
East Surry desperately wanted to place factors on the board on its subsequent drive. The Playing cards marched into Blue Satan territory however confronted fourth-and-9 from the 39. Boaz linked with Brown for a 35-yard acquire. Boaz scored his second speeding landing two performs later.
The Playing cards initially tried to kick the PAT for one level, however a flag known as on Maiden moved East nearer and adjusted the sport plan. Boaz plugged the 2-point conversion in to make it a 35-29 sport.
The Blue Devils appeared to expire the clock, however solely made it 10 whole yards earlier than having to punt again to East with 3:49 left to play. The Playing cards alternated between working and passing to succeed in the purple zone in solely 5 performs. Boaz ran 7 yards on first-and-goal from the ten, then Armstrong barreled by means of for the game-tying landing. Brantley nailed the PAT to offer East its first lead because the second quarter.
Maiden had 2:10 left on the clock, was down 7 factors and began by itself 20. Rhodes dropped again to go on the primary play of the drive and was picked off by Boaz. East began on the Blue Satan 45-yard line and moved the chains simply sufficient to exhaust Maiden’s remaining timeouts. The Cardinals went into victory formation to expire the clock and advance to the 2A West Regional Championship.
“Certainly one of my lifetime rivals has been Maiden,” stated Lowman, who previously coached and performed soccer at Bandys Excessive College. “That was among the finest Maiden groups I’ve ever seen. They’re extraordinarily nicely coached. They’ve a number of coaches on that workers which were head coaches at the highschool degree or coached at Energy 5 colleges.”
East Surry now holds the Surry County document for single-season playoff wins within the 2A division since 1972, which is way back to the N.C. Excessive College Athletic Affiliation has brackets obtainable. Mount Ethereal is the one different county staff to succeed in the 2A Regional Last, doing so in 1987 by successful three playoff video games.
East Surry now has to stroll into the Lion’s den of Shelby Excessive College. Shelby (13-1) is the No. 1 ranked staff within the 2A West and defeated Reidsville 31-14 within the fourth spherical.
“Not many individuals go into Shelby and win, however we’ve obtained a gaggle that, like I stated, they imagine they will beat anybody,” Lowman stated. “We’ve obtained the perspective; we simply must execute our sport plan and be prepared to regulate if the state of affairs requires it. That’s one thing I believe we’ve accomplished a very good job of, particularly right here within the playoffs.”
The West Regional Championship will happen at Shelby Excessive College on Friday, Dec. 3.
Maiden – 7, 14, 7, 7 = 35
East Surry – 14, 0, 7, 15 = 36
8:56 ESHS 7-0 – Folger Boaz go to Trey Armstrong 16-yard TD reception, Stephen Brantley PAT
7:24 MHS 7-7 – Ethan Rhodes go to Alec Corridor 32-yard TD reception, Carson Foard PAT
1:04 ESHS 14-7 – Folger Boaz 1-yard rush TD, Stephen Brantley PAT
3:46 MHS 14-15 – Ethan Rhodes 1-yard rush TD, Ethan Rhodes 2-point conversion rush
1:36 MHS 14-21 – Ben Gibbs 3-yard rush TD, PAT blocked by Luke Bowman
10:30 MHS 14-28 – Ben Gibbs 1-yard rush TD, Carson Foard PAT
5:48 ESHS 21-28 – Luke Bowman forces fumble, recovers and takes 48 yards for a TD, Stephen Brantley PAT
9:44 MHS 21-35 – Ethan Rhodes go to Jacob Sigmon 30-yard TD reception, Carson Foard PAT
7:25 ESHS 29-35 – Folger Boaz 1-yard rush TD, Folger Boaz 2-point conversion rush
2:10 ESHS 36-35 – Trey Armstrong 3-yard rush TD, Stephen Brantley PAT
Attain Cory on Twitter @MaNewsSports