East Rutherford held Lincolnton to 109 yards of total offense Friday night in a 35-6 beating at Lincolnton`s Memorial Stadium. The Cavaliers piled up 297 yards on the ground, led by senior running back Trenell Mosely, who finished with 133 yards on 16 carries.
East Rutherford got on the board midway through the first quarter when quarterback Aaron Palmer scored on a one-yard keeper. Blake Bostic added the point after, and the Cavaliers led 7-0. Palmer scored his second TD of the game in the second period.. Again, a one yard run. Following Bostic`s extra point kick, East Rutherford`s lead was 14-0.
Late in the first half, the Wolves got back in the game. Quarterback Zack Gibson connected with Demory Williams for a 25-yard gain to the Cavaliers 11-yard line.
Four plays later, East Rutherford was flagged for a pass interference call, giving Lincolnton a fresh set of downs at the Cavalier three yard line. On first and goal, senior tailback Dusty Friday scored from three yards out with 1:29 to play in the half. The point after attempt was blocked, but the Wolves had trimmed the lead to 14-6.
The second half was all Cavaliers. Moseley scored on a six yard run, and Palmer scored his third rushing touchdown of the night, this time a beautiful 41 yard run, to give East Rutherford a commanding 28-6 lead after three quarters.
The final score of the night for the Cavaliers involved Palmer as well. The senior quarterback found receiver Tion Watkins who raced 58 yards into the end zone to give East Rutherford the final margin of victory.
Palmer finished with 74 yards rushing and 88 yards through the air, connecting on five of seven pass attempts with an interception. Gibson completed eight of 20 pass attempts for 71 yards for the Wolves.
Dusty Friday suffered a sprained ankle during the third quarter of Friday nightâ€™s action and could be questionable for this weeks first round playoff game. Friday`s injury was to be re-evaluated today.
Lincolnton head coach Scott Cloninger was disappointed with his teamâ€™s performance Friday night, but said “We`ve played three very good teams the last three weeks. We`re disappointed that we didn`t win, but this (the playoffs) is a chance to start a new season.”
When was asked about bringing up some players from the jayvee squad for the playoffs, Cloninger said “We`ll bring up about twelve players, and they`re not coming up to watch.”
With the win, East Rutherford(9-2, 6-1) takes sole possesion of second place in the Midwest 2A conference, and is seeded sixth in the 2A state playoffs. The Cavaliers will play at home Friday night against Whiteville.
Lincolnton`s loss drops the Wolves to 6-5 overall, and 4-3 in the Midwest 2A. Lincolnton is seeded fourteenth in the 2A playoffs, and will travel to Red Springs Friday night to take on the Red Devils.
Should the Cavaliers and Wolves both win on Friday night, the teams would meet again the following week at East Rutherford. Lincolnton leads the all time series 10-7-1, but may not face the Cavaliers again for a while, since they will be in different conferences next year. by David Keever