Pirates end Falcons’ streak

Published 6:02 pm Sunday, September 7, 2014

WINDSOR – The theme was ‘kicking’ Friday night at Roy Bond, Jr. Stadium when Bertie High – 2-0 to start the season for the first time since 1998 – kicked it into high gear after trailing at the break.

Down 13 points at the half after surrendering 20 unanswered, the Falcons explode for 20 of their own in the second stanza and force the season’s first overtime game.  A game the Falcons might have won with an extra point kick.

Instead, in the overtime it was the leg of the Pirates kicker with his third field goal of the night that made the difference and gave Swansboro a 30-27 win.

It was a tale of two halves, it was also a tale of two starts, with each team practically handing the other their first score.

On the Pirates’ first series less than 30 seconds into the game, quarterback Eli Frantz fumbled and tackle Alex Cooper recovered the ball for Bertie.  It took running back Alameen Sharif just one play to scamper 27 yards to the end zone and following the Jacob Daymo kick Bertie led it 7-0 at the 11:11 mark.

Each team then punted, but on Bertie’s punt Daymo only kicked the ball 12 yards and Swansboro took over at the Bertie 33.  Four plays later, Marquis Hodges had scored the equalizer and with Cole Gleason’s kick the game was knotted at 7-all with 6:22 left in the first quarter.

Swansboro scored on it’s next possession for a 14-7 lead after the PAT to end the quarter with a seven-point bulge.

For the rest of the half, on three possessions, Bertie’s offense never crossed mid-field.  Their defense, however, was admirable, holding the Pirates to just a pair of field goals by Gleason of 39 and 35 yards to give Swansboro a 20-7 lead at halftime.

Swansboro scored on their first possession of the second half to make to 27-7 with 9:56 left in the third quarter.

And that’s when the magic began.

After no completions in the first half, Bertie quarterback Aaron Wells capped a 55-yard drive with a 12-yard scoring strike to Darquail Wilkins to make it 27-13.

Then after the defense held and the Pirates were forced to punt, Wells hooked up with Wilkins again, this time with a 91-yard touchdown pass and after Tydre Lee ran in the two-point conversion the Falcons were within seven with 1:29 left in the third.

With seven minutes left in the game Bertie tied in on a Wells to Lee 61-yard pass to paydirt  to tie the score.   The Falcons might have won it with a kick, but instead they went for two and missed leaving it 27-27 with 7:02 to go.  No one else score and that meant overtime.

In the extra frame, Bertie got the ball first on the ten-yard line and went backward thanks to a Wells sack and a nine-yard loss by Alameen.  The Falcons then went for it on fourth down and Wells was intercepted on the five-yard line.

Swansboro then got their chance.  The Pirates ran two plays, the last a run by Dakota Wakefield to the seven yard line where Gleason kicked a 27-yard game-winner that broke the Falcons’ hearts, and their two-game win streak to start the season.

Bertie (1-2) returns to Roy Bond, Jr. Stadium again next Friday night against Plymouth.

Wells led Bertie with 249 yards passing, all in the second half, and three touchdowns. Alameen Sharif led the Falcon running attack with 54 yards rushing of their 56 total yards gained on the ground.  Bertie finished with 305 total yards.