Dan O'Neal, for the SNAP
Sunday, September 29, 2013 —
West Stanly traveled to Unionville Friday night to renew its rivalry across the river with the Piedmont Panthers, who are now members of the 3-A Southern Carolina Conference resulting from the recent realignment. By no means did this action lessen the familiarity between the two squads.
The Colts were looking to break their three game losing skid after breaking their futility streak against South Stanly earlier in the season. A win over their rivals could serve as a spark plug as West begins their conference play next week.
With October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, it was thoughtful for the cheer squad from West Stanly to sport their pink pom-poms along with the Piedmont squad wearing pink hair ribbons.
West had a “tall” order in facing Piedmont not only because of their 4-1 record but also the Panthers junior quarterback Cameron Tripp, who stands at six feet six inches. Tripp also possesses great athleticism and it certainly showed as he accounted for 290 of the Panthers 459 yards gained from scrimmage enabling the Panthers to win an exciting and hard-fought contest 34-26.
The first frame was Panther dominant as Tripp would score on a 70-yard read option left with their fifth play from scrimmage at the 10:06 mark. Though the Colts moved the yardsticks on their next series, their drive stalled at the Panthers 35-yard line. They scored again on a 27 yard pass from Tripp to slotback Mitchell Woody to finish the quarter at 14-0.
West Stanly took possession of the ball at the 2:34 point of the opening quarter and would drive 67 yards to the house on a two-yard punch by senior tailback Ryan McCormick, followed by a blocked extra point attempt that narrowed the margin to 14-6.
The Panthers fumbled on their next possession at the Colts 39 at the 9:08 mark of the second quarter, turning the ball over to West. From there, the Colts spent the next 2:55 driving to the end zone finished by a three-yard sweep by quarterback/running back Trey Barbee, closing the gap further at 14-12.
Piedmont did not take the Colts challenge lightly as they scored on their next possession with a 21-yard sprint up the middle by senior running back Matt Fisher putting the Panthers up 21-12 with 4:20 left in the first half.
West Stanly answered again on their next possession after Barbee’s return on the ensuing kickoff set up the Colts at the Panthers’ 32-yard line. Seven plays later, West starting quarterback Matt Price scored from two yards out. Brady Ennis’ extra point again pulled West to within two points at 21-19 with 1:32 left in the first half.
Piedmont scored again with 53 ticks left on the clock on a Tripp to Fisher 10 yard connection putting West behind 28-19 at halftime.
The second half was a bit of a struggle offensively as both teams had plays resulting in drives being stalled with incomplete passes and not converting on third down situations which was an indicator of the way both defensive units stepped up their game. B.J. Hill sacked Tripp for a four-yard loss and senior linebacker Colton Hathcock picked off Tripp at their own 25 and would take the football to the Panthers 49-yard line.
From there, West made the most of this series as starting quarterback Price scored on a 10-yard run followed by an Ennis extra point kick with 5:16 left in the game, once again closing in on the Panthers lead. Piedmont previously scored at the end of the third on the second Tripp to Fisher connection.
After the Colts scored, the Panthers took possession of the football and drove 42 yards to run out the clock resulting in Piedmont victory.
The Colts had to fight through adversity in Friday’s game, including eight penalties for 90 yards and an injury to Hill, who was shaken up in the third quarter. Overall, he gained 108 yards on 13 carries, much to the amazement of the press box crowd noting the way he carried Piedmont defenders with him.
Price also completed some excellent slant routes enabling junior wideout Ethan Morgan to catch five passes for 42 yards along with Ethan Burleson, who grabbed two passes for 40 yards.
“I’m proud of our effort, but we must learn to execute on both sides of the field,” Colts head coach James Johnson said.
West Stanly (1-5) will return to Union County next Friday night as they have their first conference matchup against Parkwood (3-3). The Rebels were off this past Friday and are coming off a 53-3 win over Cherryville on Sept. 27. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.
WS 0 19 0 7 26
P 14 14 6 0 34
P – Cameron Tripp 70 run (Baucom kick), 10:06, 1st
P – Woody 27 pass from Tripp (Baucom kick), 2:34, 1st
WS – McCormick 5 run (kick failed), 10:06, 2nd
WS – Barbee 7 run (conv. failed), 6:13, 2nd
P – Fisher 21 run (Baucom kick), 4:20, 2nd
WS – Matt Price 2 run (Brady Ennis kick), 1:32, 2nd
P – Fisher 10 pass from Tripp (Baucom kick), :53, 2nd
P – Fisher 39 pass from Tripp (kick failed), :02, 3rd
WS – Price 2 run (Ennis kick), 5:16, 4th
1st Downs 16 13
Rushing 44-166 32-303
Passing 128 156
C-A-I 10-25-1 9-18-1
Punts 5-26.4 2-25.0
Penalties 8-90 4-45
Fum. Lst. 1 2
3rd Down 5-12 3-4
4th Down 1-3 0-1
TOP 27:39 20:21
Rushing: WS – Hill 13-108; McCormick 19-39, TD; Barbee 5-17, TD; Price 7-2, TD. P – Tripp 13-134,TD; Fisher 8-83,TD; Braswell 5-49; Woody 3-25; Long 1-8; Reid 1-2; Price 1-2.
Passing: WS – Price 9-24, 99 yds, 1 int.; Barbee 1-1, 29 yds. P – Tripp 9-18, 156, 2 TD, 1 int.
Receiving: WS – Morgan 5-42; Burleson 2-40; McCormick 1-37; Wilson 1-7; Rowe 1-2. P – Fisher 3-83, 2 TD; Leviner 3-30; Long 2-10; Woody 1-27, TD; Radford 1-6.