Golden Falcons put together stirring 4th-quarter rally
By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on October 8, 2006 2:25 AM
PIKEVILLE -- Taking advantage of a pair of Wilson Beddingfield turnovers in the final quarter, Charles B. Aycock roared from behind -- erupting for 20 unanswered points to win 27-24 on a cold, damp night at Hardy Talton Stadium.
Through three quarters, the ball simply wasn't bouncing Aycock's way in its Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference opener against Wilson Beddingfield.
Bruins' receiver Chris Taylor and Dwight Joyner caught passes laying on their back, including one by Joyner for a touchdown. Beddingfield quarterback Lance Price, making his first start, fumbled a handful of snaps but recovered each time.
Meanwhile, the Golden Falcons failed to establish offensive momentum and the score stood 24-7 heading into the fourth.
Then things changed -- dramatically.
"We did some soul-searching after that loss to Greene Central last week," Aycock defensive coordinator Trevor Pilkington said. "The biggest thing tonight was our effort. We had a never-say-die attitude."
The Falcons' Javoneta Taylor recovered a botched snap on Beddingfield's second play of the fourth at the Bruins' 15. Three plays later, Dontay Taylor charged in from short yardage to make it 24-14.
Beddingfield fumbled its next possession away near midfield. Aycock wasted little time cashing in as quarterback Thomas Pilkington, who finished 13-for-25 for 193 yards and two touchdowns, found Bryant Hill all alone down the left sideline for a 45-yard catch-and-run to pull the Falcons within three.
The Falcons missed out on a chance to capitalize on an onsides-kick recovery by Joseph Toler on the ensuing kickoff. But Aycock's defense quickly got the ball back after Travis Milligan and Anthony Holder sacked Price near midfield -- forcing a punt.
With 4-for-4 passing by Pilkington to four different receivers and six tough runs by Dontay Taylor, the Falcons put together a 10-play, 67-yard drive to seal the come-from-behind win. Taylor capped the drive with a 1-yard plunge to push the score to the final margin. The senior running back rushed for 91 yards on 25 carries and caught three passes for 45 yards. He now has 1,011 yards on the ground and 15 rushing touchdowns this season.
"The kids never gave up," Aycock offensive coordinator Jay Westbrook said. "We couldn't catch any breaks early, then finally we got a few. Our defense stepped up big and our offense capitalized with key plays. I thought our offensive line came up huge in the second half."
By game's end, Price, called up from junior varsity to replace Dahnique Eddy, was a solid 15-of-27 through the air with three touchdowns. Chris Taylor proved to be a menace to Aycock's secondary as he caught 10 passes for 146 yards with two scores in the first half.
But Price bobbled six snaps -- losing one -- and finished with minus 16 yards on the ground.
"I think it was the fatique," Beddingfield coach Tyrone Johnson said. "I thought the fumbles might happen earlier in the game, but we managed to hold on to them."
The Falcons' lone score of the first three quarters came two minutes before halftime as Pilkington hit Kelton Lewis over the middle for an 18-yard strike. Alex Roosen, who was 3-for-4 on extra points, booted it through the uprights to make it 12-7 at halftime.
After the homecoming ceremonies, Beddingfield got right back to work in the third quarter as Dashawn Batt scored from 15 yards out to put the visitors up by 11 just two minutes into the half.
Four minutes later and after a three-and-out by Aycock, Price's pass to Joyner in the left end zone was tipped by the Falcons' Montez Ham. Still, Joyner managed to haul in a touchdown -- laying on his back. But Tony Arizpe's kick sailed wide as the score stood 24-7 before the Falcons' big comeback.
Arizpe was 0-for-2 on extra points, while the Bruins had two failed conversion attempts. The six points proved to be crucial in the ECC nail-biter. Beddingfield was also penalized 10 times for 90 yards compared to five penalites for 60 yards against Aycock.
The Falcons return to action next Friday at Kinston.
"To win the conference opener is big, because it seems as if the conference is up for grabs this year," Thomas Pilkington said. "Hopefully the way we finished tonight will set the tone for the rest of the season."
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