LUMBERTON — Lumberton senior quarterback Braylan Grice has had a chip on his shoulder from the 20-15 loss at Westover last year that was seemingly stolen from under their nose.
“I feel like we should’ve won that game in the first place,” Grice said. “It really came down to the end. I can’t blame it on one play, but other big factors in the game.”
The Pirates held a 15-6 lead with less than six minutes to go in the game. The Wolverines scored 14 point in less than five minutes to pull off the comeback, including the game-winning score with 12 seconds left on a pass from Xavier Ford to Camari Williams.
On that game-winning drive, the Pirates had two penalties, one on fourth down and a defensive pass interference, that aided in Westover marching downfield.
“We’ve got to get more defensive stands. If we can get more defensive stands, I feel like we can win the game with our high-powered offense,” Grice said.
Grice rushed for 103 yards and passed for 135 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in that loss.
Westover (0-1) and Lumberton (0-1) meet once again in the second week of the season, this time in Lumberton. Head coach Kelly Williamson said that on film the athletes and the way the Wolverines move around on the field is similar to the Pirates’ Week 1 opponent.
“They look like Dillon running around,” Williamson said. “They are very quick and got some good looking kids.”
In that 49-20 loss to open the season, the Pirates held tight with Dillon. Down 16-6 at the half, Lumberton watched Dillon score 20 points in the third quarter and run away with the ballgame. Williamson chalks that up to turnovers.
“One of the things you can’t do against Dillon is turn the ball over,” he said. “We’ve got to secure the football this week. We’ve worked on it. You can’t turn the ball over five times.
“I talked to them about us getting this nasty taste out of our mouth from the loss last week. Saturday, Sunday and next week go a lot better win you’re winning.”
The 20 points Lumberton posted, however, was a far cry from the showing Lumberton had last season against the Wildcats, showing signs of growth in the offense this season.
“I think we can move the football. I just hope we can hold onto it, and not commit penalties,” Williamson said. “We’ve just got to block up front.”
“We’re just clicking right now. Working hard in practice is showing out on the field,” Grice said of the offense.
Westover lost to Seventy-First in Week 1, 39-18, in Ernest King’s debut at his alma mater. King took the job in late June after coaching St. Pauls for two seasons. He served as an assistant at Lumberton for a season.
Jonathan Bym can be reached at 910-816-1977 or by email at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Jonathan_Bym.