FAYETTEVILLE — The Lumberton football team has had opportunities to win close contests this season, but haven’t converted in clutch moments.
The same was true on Friday when the Pirates had a chance to go up by a touchdown on the road against conference opponent Jack Britt. In the late stages of the third quarter, with the ball on the Buccaneers’ 1-yard line, the Pirates committed a false start and gave up two consecutive sacks on third and fourth down to spoil any hopes of scoring, leaving the scored tied.
Lumberton coach Kelly Williamson talked about the deciding play and why his team continues to struggle in those situations.
“If you can’t get the ball and score, you’re not going to be very good. We’re just undisciplined, make bad decisions and that’s what happens,” said Williamson as his team eventually lost to Jack Britt 15-14 in the fourth overtime.
Lumberton (1-4, 0-1 SAC) quarterback Braylan Grice, who led the team with 249 total yards and two touchdowns, had multiple chances to put the game away in various key moments. In the fourth, with just over a minute left, he threw a deep pass down the sideline on fourth down, but it was under thrown and broken up to force a turnover on downs. In the first overtime, Grice threw an interception in the end zone on a jump ball to receiver Kwashek Breeden who had 45 yards receiving in the game.
He wasn’t pleased with the outcome and was curt when describing his offense’s mishaps.
“We just got to execute. Coach calls the plays and we got to do it,” Grice said about the pivotal plays that slipped away from them in the loss.
Helping Grice on offense was running back Tazarie Butler who rushed for 95 yards. Wideout Jordan McNeill caught a 19-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter.
The Buccaneers were stout defensively and played a big part as to why Grice and Co. failed during regulation and in the overtimes.
The Pirates defense was just as impressive and held the home team to 75 yards rushing. The two big plays that hurt them were in the third quarter when they gave up a wide open touchdown to Buccaneers receiver Anthony Fiffie, and the final touchdown of the game in the fourth overtime when running back Chancellor Johnson broke the plane to tie it at 14. The ensuing extra point would be the final blow.
Next week, Lumberton travels to Seventy-First for another conference matchup.
Donnell Coley can be reached at 910-416-5165 or by email at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Sportsinmyveins.