Golden Eagles soar to win over Central Davidson
With their third straight win to open the season, Vance Hanner's players made a simple statement Friday night at Spartan Community Stadium. The Golden Eagles are back.
Senior Austin Wallace threw for a pair of touchdown passes and staged a fourth quarter rally to give East a 28-21 victory over Central Davidson. Trailing by two touchdowns midway through the third quarter, Michael Ramos caught a 28-yard touchdown pass for the first of three unanswered scores that propelled the team to a 3-0 start.
The swarming Eagle defense held a potent Central offense to 254 total yards a week after the Spartans accumulated 495 yards on the ground alone against Wheatmore. Wallace, meanwhile, continued to build on his early-season success, completing 9-of-12 passes for 154 yards and two scores.
His first TD pass to Nathan Campbell went for nine yards and occurred with 4:46 left to go in the first. Ninety seconds later, the newest and youngest member of Central’s team got loose for a 67-yard dash to the end zone.
Marquez Stiller had seen limited action before Friday, but quickly established himself as the Spartans’ primary ballcarrier. The freshman tailback had his first 100-yard rushing performance, carrying 15 times for 118 yards and a score.
Coming out of the break, Central resorted to a bit of trickery to ensure it began the third quarter with the football. The Spartans (1-2) orchestrated a successful onside kick which set the tone for Thayer Bates’ 3-yard touchdown run with eight minutes remaining in the third that put Central up 21-7.
Bates’ score accounted for the last points the turnover-prone home team would tally. Bryce Bolen recovered Central Davidson’s second fumble – and fourth turnover – of the night as the third quarter came to an end. The Eagles began their first drive of the fourth quarter at the Spartan 38 after the takeaway and advanced the ball into the red zone.
Wallace knotted the score at 21 on a quarterback keeper that went for 10 yards and a touchdown. He was 4-for-4 for 99 yards throwing the ball in the second half.
After yet another Spartan fumble, Bolen took the ensuing first-down handoff and darted 24 yards to pay dirt with six minutes remaining to retake the lead for East. The Eagles would not look back and that score provided the final margin of victory.
Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 888-3575, or firstname.lastname@example.org.