LUMBERTON — As Douglas Byrd drove deep into Lumberton territory late in the second quarter on Friday, the Eagles were on the Pirates’ seven yard line and made two passes towards the end zone.
The first was deflected at the last second by Devante Stephens but Travis Suggs did even better with the second, intercepting it and running it 38 yards to set up a drive that ended in a touchdown.
“It wasn’t nervous. I’ve been in that situation before,” Suggs said.
It was one of two interceptions Suggs made to help Lumberton get a 38-0 win on opening night. On Monday he was rewarded for his performance when he was picked as the first winner of the team’s weekly game ball, an award that will be given to the Pirates by Coval Long and Jay Britt of Farm Bureau Insurance in Lumberton.
The two LHS alumni will provide a ball for the team after each game that will be given to a player chosen by the Pirate coaching staff.
“This is an outreach of what we feel we do in the community,” said Britt, who is also the P.A. announcer at Lumberton football games. “To us, this ceremony and this gesture it’s a reflection of teamwork, of preparation and of execution, and those are things that Farm Bureau agents embody and it’s the same thing these young men embody.”
Britt and Long brought the first game ball to Monday’s practice and coach Setzer told the team that voting amongst his staff left a narrow margin. He cited the redzone interception and his senior leadership for winning the first award.
“He not only changed the course of the game at that point, he came up with a big play and brought it out, and he got another interception at a pivotal point in the game,” Setzer said. “He had two big time plays that changed the course of the game, where we were able to capitalize after the turnover.”