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East Wake falls short

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WENDELL — The visiting North Pitt football squad snatched a 36-32 victory away from East Wake in the final 10 seconds last Friday night.

Following a costly Warrior fumble while draining the clock, the Panthers (now 1-4) traveled 55 yards on nine fast-unwinding plays. A 10-yard slant entered the end zone with 9.5 seconds showing. The two-point conversion forced East Wake to make a miracle on the ensuing kickoff.

Quarterback Deaunti Lucas was tackled at the 8-yard line shortly after fielding the boot instead.

For East Wake (0-6), its last non-conference contest slipped loose from two double-digit second-half leads at 25-14 and 32-22.

The Warriors also took the initial advantage after North Pitt suffered a bad punt snap at its own 12. Brice Council (11 carries, 59 yards) punched it in from the 1-yard line two plays later. Ian MacGinness poked the PAT with 8:58 left in the first quarter.

The Panthers retaliated when it intercepted a pass to erase a threat, then traveled 73 yards on a breakaway run up the middle one snap later. They faked the bonus, inserting the double for the 8-7 tilt with 3:13 remaining in the opening quarter.

Braxton Browser recovered a later North Pitt fumble, triggering an 11-play trip to paydirt. Braelin Yarborough (11 carries, 85 yards) broke the plane of the goal line, then MacGinness fired a fake PAT pass to Tayshawn Richardson for the 15-8 spread.

North Pitt replied in seven plays. Its 19-yard scamper closed the gap, but its two-point conversion was stopped and pinned the difference at 15-14.

East Wake beat the halftime homecoming festivities with a Xavier Hinton (13 carries, 54 yards) heavy assault. He accounted for 24 yards before Yarborough rumbled for 14 more to the 5-yard line. From there, as time expired. MacGinness belted a 22-yard field goal for the 18-14 margin.

On its second series of the third, Lucas hit Mike Vick on a 36-yard fly route. MacGinness’ extra posted the 25-14 gulf with 3:42 left in the frame.

MacGinness then recovered his onside kick to keep the Warriors in offensive business. However, one of 12 penalties for 128 yards called against East Wake altogether stalled the insurance bid.

North Pitt countered with a six-play, 67-yard strike capped by a 19-yard touchdown throw over good coverage. The deuce whittled the difference to 25-22.

East Wake immediately engineered its own seven-crack, 39-yard journey aided by an unnecessary roughness foul on the Panthers. Council toted the first five in a row for 34, then Hinton finished with internal gores of 3 and 2. MacGinness supplied the 32-22 expanse with just 5:32 left in the game.

North Pitt went 66 on a deep fling to make it 32-28 barely 49 seconds later.

East Wake moved to the Panther 44 before fumbling possession into enemy hands. The turnover would cost it the first triumph of the season so close to the end.

After a bye week, East Wake will try to get their first win of the season against Greater Neuse conference opponent Cleveland at home next Friday at 7 p.m.


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