By Clint Parker
EHS – The Erwin Warriors found that Friday night win that they’d been looking for Sept. 20th against the Asheville Cougars as the red and white closed the deal on their first season win, 42-30.
Erwin started out the game receiving the ball first, and two plays later had a 61-yard touchdown from Monty Williams (18) with a good point after (PAT) by Fernando Marin (21) making it 7-0 Warriors early in the game.
Asheville would have to punt the ball after the drive failed as Erwin would end up doing the same. It was on the Cougars’ next possession where Erwin would have a big interception thanks to Landon Taylor (45), who returned the interception for a 46-yard touchdown. Marin would make it a seven-point gain for the Warriors at the 4:59 in the first quarter to give the home team a 14-0 advantage.
Erwin extended their edge in the second quarter at the 9:40 mark on a Keavon Carson (16) one-yard run after a 12-play drive. Marin would add the PAT and the Warriors had a 21-0 command over Asheville.
As if awakened from a deep sleep to find themselves three touchdowns behind, Asheville answered less than a minute later with a 58-yard run to the end zone by Cougar Justin Campbell, but failed to complete the two-point conversion making it 21-6 Erwin.
Both teams’ next possessions would end with punts but Erwin’s punt would aid Asheville’s score as their’s was fumbled and recovered by the Cougars for a safety at the 4:59 in the second quarter making it 21-8, Warriors.
The Warriors would hit a dry spell for the rest of the first half while the Cougars would get a touchdown on a Famous Pasley 14-yard pass from Three Hillier. The score at the half had Asheville a touchdown away from taking the lead at 21-16, Erwin.
Tristian Brank would end Erwin’s dry spell at the 5:37 in the third with an eight-yard touchdown pass from Jared Penland, but a blocked PAT only gave the Warriors a 27-16 edge.
The rest of the scoring in the game came in the fourth quarter, first with an Asheville’s Vyshonne Franklin one-yard run with 11:27 left to play, but a two-point conversion would fail, causing Asheville to trail 27-22.
Less than two minutes later Erwin’s Monty Williams would run 42 yards and Marin would kick the PAT to widen the lead and then Williams would run 29 yards with 3:35 left in the game and Marin would again put the ball through the uprights and Erwin would lead by 20 points, 42-22.
However, Asheville was not done as 15 seconds later they showed the Warriors how quickly they could strike with a 77-yard pass touchdown from Hillier to Vasili Paulk, but that’s as close as the Cougars would get as Erwin held them off to end the game 42-30.
Erwin’s quarterback Penland would have 14 of 23 completions for 87 yards while the Warrior offense would rack up 233 rushing yards from Williams, Carson and Penland. While Erwin had two interceptions during the game from Taylor and Shy Stillwell (4), only one resulted in points.
Erwin faces North Buncombe who came off a win against the Roberson Rams last week (read story page 10). The game is at North Buncombe Friday night
at 7:30 pm.