LUMBERTON — The Lumberton High School football team brought out plenty of flair for its debut under new coach Mike Setzer.
There were halftime competitions, yellow smoke and a new tunnel that players used to run onto the field, but the most noticeable change came on the field where the Pirates posted their first shut out since 2009 in a 38-0 win against Douglas Byrd. It was a far cry from last year’s 1-10 season.
“They were excited just to get the monkey off their back,” Lumberton coach Mike Setzer said. “We’re extremely proud of them obviously, extremely, extremely proud.”
A year after losing 44-14 to the same team, which is coached this season by former St. Pauls assistant Scott Barbour, the Pirates kept the former game’s results on their mind.
“We tried to give them the same thing they gave us last year,” running back Josh Sheridan said.
The result was 392 yards offensively and 195 allowed, with a point total higher than the best they had all last season.
The offense also had few problems getting started, scoring on a pass from Auston Foley to Jamal Cromartie on their second drive of the game after making it to the red zone in their first.
Foley, who took the starting role last season, completed his first seven passes and went 8-for-11 for 113 yards and three touchdowns, two of which were in the first half.
The second half was just as potent as Josh Sheridan took it in 40 yards to finish the opening drive and set it up for a 28-0 lead, the second of two touchdowns he scored. Sheridan finished the game with 13 rushes for 168 yards.
“The run game helped us out a lot,” Sheridan said.
The defense was just as strong, getting stops when it needed to.
The Pirates finished with three interceptions, including two from Travis Suggs. One of Suggs’ picks came as Byrd throwing into the endzone. It followed a batted ball by Devante Stephens that kept the Eagles from a score.
Josh Murphy also used a bit of extra motivation to record three sacks, all in the first half. He had two in a row early in the second, causing the Eagles to lose 17 yards over the two-play span.
“We were relentless, we were quick to the ball,” he said. “I say practice is where we got after it the most and if it wasn’t for our coaches and our personnel it wouldn’t have been nothing.”
Byrd quarterback Cormega Copening was the top offensive player for the Eagles with 58 rushing yards and 83 passing, completing 7 of 21 attempts from the air.
The Eagles started the game in Pirate territory after a 40-yard kickoff return to open the game but couldn’t get a score.
Tyreik McCallum was Lumberton’s main receiver in the end zone with both of his catches on the night coming for touchdowns.
Lumberton was the only county team to win on opening night.
Lumberton 38, Douglas Byrd 0
Douglas Byrd 0 0 0 0 — 0
Lumberton 7 14 14 3 — 38
Jamal Cromartie 5 yd pass from Auston Foley (Jayce Ward kick)
Tyreik McCallum 6 yd pass from Auston Foley (Jayce Ward kick)
Josh Sheridan 23 yd run (Jayce Ward kick)
Josh Sheridan 40 yd run (Jayce Ward kick)
Tyreik McCallum 18 yd pass from Auston Foley (Jayce Ward kick)
Jayce Ward 29 yd field goal
Passing: DB: Cormega Copening 7-21-3-83; L: Auston Foley 8-11-0-113.
Rushing: DB: Cormega Copening 15-58, Kevin Sparks 10-42; L: Josh Sheridan 13-168; Troy Mitchell 17-69.
Receiving: DB: Montrez Brunson 4-65, Nicholas Eubanks 2-17, Alexis Womack 1-1; L: Jamal Cromartie 5-54, Stefhan Green 2-45, Tyreik McCallum 2-24.