Pumpkin Center edged Lincolnton 24-22 on Monday in middle school football action. The game was to determine who would face Shelby on Wednesday for the Tri-County Championship.
With 30 seconds left, Wildcatsâ€™ tailback Jonathan Ingram found Jimmy Angle for a 35-yard touchdown pass. The score gave them a chance to tie the game to send it into overtime, but Ingram was stopped on the one-yard line.
Pumpkin Center, once again, relied on their quarterback Ty Gray who did damage with his arm and with his legs. Gray had a touchdown run and ran in two two-point conversions. He also connected for two scores through the air.
Ingram kept his team in contention rushing for a touchdown and scoring two two-point conversions. Ingram finished the season with 1300 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns. Josh Friday had a two-yard touchdown run.
Lincolntonâ€™s head coach Mike Devine took nothing away from Pumpkin Center.
â€œTheir kids played a tremendous game. They were relentless and are a well-coached team. Coach Crouse is a good man and has done a great job coaching this group. Ty Gray made big plays when he had to. I wish them the best of luck against Shelby,â€ he said.
Both defenses played the beneficiaries of turnovers. The Wildcats had two interceptions, while Pumpkin Center had two fumble recoveries.
The Wildcats end their season with 5-2, 4-1 in the Tri-County Conference. Devine and assistant coach Steven Smith were very proud of the season their kids turned in.
â€œI was so proud of the effort of our team. Coming into the season, we werenâ€™t sure how good weâ€™d be so this team was a pleasant surprise. Jonathan is a special player. He carried us at times. They have tremendous heart,â€ Devine said.
Pumpkin Center will face Shelby on Wednesday for the Tri-County Championship. Currently their record is 5-1 with an unblemished 5-0 in the Tri-County.
by John Mark Brooks