Sunday, February 5, 2023

Braves Roll Past Cardinals in Close Battle

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Braves face off the other team. PN File Photo

By Dai-shon Donald, Reporter

In their last game, the Braves survived after a missed field goal against Frostburg State to win 10-9. The Braves found themselves in another close battle away in a conference contest versus the Wheeling Cardinals..  

In the 1st quarter of action, the Cardinals struck first with an impressive rushing touchdown near the red zone. But the touchdown would be called back due to a penalty near the line of scrimmage. After several downs, the Cardinals ultimately settled for a 22-yard field goal from Junior Matt Greenwood. Opening the afternoon contest with a 3-0 lead over the Braves.  

Still in the first, the Braves struggled to find any momentum against the Cardinals defense. With great play from their defense, the Cardinals capitalized on offense by pushing their lead to 10-0. In just two-play on the drive, Senior Sy Alli broke free for a 40-yard touchdown run. Closing the 1st quarter, Greenwood helped the Cardinals increase their lead to 13-0, notching a 49-yard field goal.  

Opening the 2nd quarter, the Braves got on the board with a 26-field goal from Alex Alvarado, closing the gap  to 13-3. Now ten points down, the Braves tried to find holes in the Cardinals game plan. On the following drive, in just ten plays – the Braves marched down the field for a 90-yard drive. The Braves capped off the impressive drive with a scramble from Senior Quarterback Josh Jones, finding the endzone for a 4-yard rushing touchdown.  

Before closing out the half, the Cardinals upped their lead with a 35-yard field goal from Greenwood. The Braves found themselves in a 16-10 hole heading into the 3rd quarter.  

In the start of the 2nd half, both offenses stalled during a defensive battle. In the final drive of the 3rd, the Braves had an opportunity to make it a 3-point game. The failed field goal kept the score at 16-10.  

After a scoreless battle in the 3rd quarter, it was sure to be a tight finish. Entering the 4th quarter, both teams looked to get on the board once more. The Braves snatched the lead for the first time of the evening. On an 8-play drive, Jones connected with Senior Faheem Diaab for an 8-yard passing touchdown. The Braves now led 17-16. 

Looking to take the lead back, the Cardinals began their next drive. After just 6-plays on the drive, the Braves defensive schemes paid off with an interception from Sophomore defensive-back, LaTrell Jewsome. With the huge turnover, it seemed the Braves now had all the momentum in the closing minutes.  

On the final drive of the game, the Cardinals looked for one last chance at a win. With just 2-seconds left of play, the Cardinals began their final drive on the 50- yard line. In hopes of a miracle, the Cardinals came up short after a defensive stop from the Braves. The Braves won in a close battle, 17-16.  

Quarterback Josh Jones finished with 194 passing yards and 1 passing touchdown. Junior, Rodney Smith concluded the evening with 79-yards on 7 receptions. The Braves defense shined bright with a 5-sack performance for the game. An overall-team effort from the Braves in a tense battle.   

The Braves are now 3-3. They return home for a Thursday game against West Virginia St. (4-2). Last season, the Braves won 14-13. They look to do the same, this time on their home turf.    

UNCP Student News
UNCP Student News
UNCP student newspaper since 1947.
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