DENVER — The East Lincoln Mustangs coasted to a 41-12 win over the Bessemer City Yellow Jackets on homecoming on Friday.
East Lincoln senior quarterback Garrett Young threw for 323 yards on 20 completions for five touchdowns and led the Mustangs to a win in their Southern Piedmont 1A/2A Conference opener.
The Mustang defense held Bessemer City to only 249 yards of total offense, and the Yellow Jackets’ 12 points was the lowest total allowed by East Lincoln through the first five weeks of the season. Bessemer City’s first drive of the game ended on East Lincoln’s 8-yard line when the Yellow Jackets were unable to convert on fourth-and-3. Bessemer City tried three fourth-down conversions, but was held back on every attempt.
Senior East Lincoln running back Marquis Pharr took the opening kickoff 25 yards downfield, setting up East Lincoln’s seven-play scoring drive. The Mustangs moved the ball to the Yellow Jacket 8-yard line on a 32-yard pass from Young to senior wide receiver Jesse Earnhardt on the first play from scrimmage, a 10-yard reception by senior receiver Tyler Brock and an 8-yard run by Pharr. Young connected with Brock on an 8-yard touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone and Cory Peterson’s extra point gave East Lincoln a 7-0 lead.
After holding the Yellow Jackets on their first drive at the East Lincoln 8-yard line, Young threw a 92-yard touchdown pass on first down to freshman wide receiver Chaz Surratt. Surratt ran a route down the middle of the field, caught the pass at the 50-yard line, and beat the lone Yellow Jacket covering him for the score.
The Mustangs took a 21-0 lead on their next possession on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Young to Brock. Bessemer City responded with an eight-play scoring drive that ended with a 36-yard pass from quarterback Davis Gibby to Jha’Qui Adams.
East Lincoln scored again five minutes into the second quarter to take a 27-6 lead on a 12-yard pass from Young to Earnhardt. Young had connected with Surratt earlier in the drive on a 42-yard pass, Surratt’s final reception of the game.
The East Lincoln defense added six points to the scoring onslaught less than two minutes before halftime. Senior defense back James O’Keefe picked off a pass by Gibby and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown and a 34-6 lead for the Mustangs.
East Lincoln scored only once after halftime. Young threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Earnhardt with 9:10 left in the fourth quarter to put the Mustangs ahead 41-12.