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Falcons Fall to Sanderson

Karl Fisher

Karl Fisher

Bradley Stewart, Sports Writer

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The Green Hope football team suffered a gut-wrenching 22-21 loss against Sanderson on Friday night.  Despite the loss, Green Hope remains number thirteen in the News & Observer Top 25 at 3-2 on the year.  Sanderson, who entered the game ranked third in the News & Observer Top 25, improved to 3-2 on the year, and according to Maxpreps, is a top contender for the State championship.

Sanderson jumped off to an early lead, thanks to Trent Pennix’s 40 yard touchdown reception less than a minute into the game.  Green Hope responded with a touchdown drive of their own, capped off by Blake Watson catching a pass from Willie Taylor in the back corner of the endzone.  The Spartans went on a drive again, but stalled inside the Falcon redzone.  As the student section chanted “Block that kick”, Jacob Draughn did just that, keeping the game tied at seven.  Near the end of the first quarter, Taylor hit Watson on a short pass and Watson took it to the house, breaking multiple tackles as he ran down the sideline.  Not long after the Falcon’s second touchdown, they were presented with another scoring opportunity when, Green Hope’s Aidan Callahan picked off Sanderson and ran it back inside the Spartan thirty-yard line.  After penalties and sacks, the Falcons found themselves in a third-and-long. After the pocket collapsed, Taylor scrambled out of the pocket and hit Jordyn Adams in stride.  Adams ran through the Spartan defense, not only converting the third-and-long, but scoring in the process. Green Hope entered the second half holding a 21-7.  

Sanderson’s defense stepped up in the second half, which allowed their offense to get back in the game.  Down by seven, with less than three minutes to go, Sanderson punched in a touchdown and decided to go for two and they punched it in again, putting them up by one.  The Falcons ultimately had two more chances to score, but both drives ended in Sanderson territory, without any points.  Senior offensive lineman Dallin Kemp said the loss is a painful lesson, “Coach has really been driving us to play four quarters, not just one half, and on Friday, we learned that the hard way.”  “We plan to come together as one team and win out the rest of the season,” said Blake Watson.  Kemp believes that if they played the second half like they played the first half, they would have won the game, adding, “If we see them later, I think we’ll be able to fix the mistakes and beat them.”  

A potential Green Hope-Sanderson rematch in the state playoffs is a real possibility, but the road begins on Friday vs Apex Friendship.  Apex Friendship is off to a surprising 3-2 start, but their three wins were against teams with a combined record of 0-14.  The game is Friday at 7:00 at home, so come out and support.

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Falcons Fall to Sanderson