VALE — The East Lincoln Mustangs scored three fourth-quarter touchdowns, pulling ahead from a 20-13 third-quarter advantage, for a 40-20 win over the West Lincoln Rebels on Friday.
The Rebels fumbled on their first possession in the fourth quarter, setting up a five-play drive by the Mustangs that culminated with a 17-yard touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Chaz Surratt to senior wide receiver Tyler Brock. West Lincoln was forced to punt on its next possession, and a 65-yard run down the right sideline by East Lincoln senior Jesse Earnhardt put the Mustangs ahead 33-13.
The Rebels scored once in the fourth quarter on a 2-yard run by senior running back Clay Alguire, preceded by a 49-yard run by junior quarterback Miguel Corella. Surratt scored once more for the Mustangs on a 12-yard run with two minutes remaining in the game.
The Rebels held close to the Mustangs, tying the game 13-13 in the opening minutes of the third quarter. Senior West Lincoln running back Daniel Davila and Corella both carried the ball for 98 yards, a game high, but accounted for only a touchdown each.
Surratt made his first start at quarterback for East Lincoln after senior starter Garrett Young suffered a knee injury against Lincolnton last week. Surratt didn’t quite match Young’s passing numbers — the senior was averaging 300 passing yards per game — but he did complete seven of his 14 attempts for 132 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a team-high 91 yards on 10 carries and one touchdown.
The Mustangs scored first with a 36-yard pass from Surratt to Earnhardt with 7:33 left in the first quarter. East Lincoln started the drive on West Lincoln’s side of the field after a punt and ran two plays, both 9-yard runs, before Surratt connected the touchdown pass.
The Rebels ate up the rest of the first quarter with a 13-play drive bolstered by runs from Davila and Corella. Corella took the Rebels across midfield for the first time in the game with a 19-yard run on the fourth play of the drive. Davila drove the Rebels to the East Lincoln 16-yard line with two 8-yard runs before Corella scampered 16 yards for West Lincoln’s first score and a 6-6 tie game.
The Mustangs needed three plays to break the 6-6 tie in the first minute of the second quarter. East Lincoln again started their drive on West Lincoln’s side of the field after a 22-yard kickoff return by junior receiver Damisho Finandis. Surratt ran for 6 yards on the first play, followed by a 22-yard run by junior running back Domonique Smith, who finished the drive with a 17-yard touchdown run for a 13-6 East Lincoln lead.
The Rebels stopped East Lincoln on the Mustangs’ final drive of the first half. East Lincoln had two touchdowns called back on successive block-in-the-back penalties, but slowly made its way into West Lincoln’s red zone. West Lincoln senior Derrick Braun forced a fumble on second-and-goal from the 14-yard line and, after an incomplete pass, the Mustangs attempted a 31-yard field goal. The attempt went wide as time expired in the first half.
The Rebels tied the game at 13-13 with a 39-yard touchdown run by Davila in the opening minutes of the second half. Smith pulled the Mustangs ahead 20-13 with a 25-yard run with one minute remaining in the third quarter.