MCEWEN — The East Robertson football team committed three first-half turnovers and didn’t convert any PATs during a 21-20 loss to McEwen on Friday.
Despite the mistakes on special teams and the turnovers, East Robertson had a chance to get its third win of the season but failed on a two-point attempt with 10:51 to play.
“I felt like we would get the ball back and I had confidence in my guys that we were going to be able to pick that up the way we were gashing them up front,” East Robertson coach Jay Pierce said. “We had already had one attempt blocked earlier in the game and I just felt like our best chance was to go for two there.
“I’d do that 10-out-of-10 times, but unfortunately, they were able to make play and get the stop.”
The Indians did get the ball back with 7:02 left and methodically marched the ball down the field.
After converting two third-and-eight plays during the drive, the Indians faced another third-and-long from the McEwen 41.
“The catch at the end by (Tyler) Perry was unreal,” Pierce said about his team’s final conversion on third down in the game’s waning moments. “That play really kept us in it and gave us a chance.”
The team’s third-down success ran out though, as East Robertson faced a fourth-and-one from the Warrior 19.
McEwen snuffed out Indian quarterback Willie Sneed’s draw attempt, tackling him for a three-yard loss and effectively ending the game.
“Willie played a heck of a ball game and it’s hard to see it end like that,” Pierce said. “But it’s like I told (the team) tonight after the game, the effort was there and we played hard enough to win but they just happened to make the last play in a game where both teams made a lot of plays.
“It just went their way in the end.”
On a night when the Indians (2-5, 0-3 District 10-A) doubled the Warriors’ (2-4, 1-1) first down output – 18-9 – and outgained McEwen 422-246 in total yardage, the first-half turnovers really cost ERHS.
Although the Warriors scored just seven points off the three Indian turnovers, the resulting short fields allowed McEwen to control field position all night long.
East Robertson routinely had to drive the length of the field for its points, while the Warriors were able to turn the short fields into points.
East Robertson tailback Clayton Key opened the game’s scoring with a 3-yard touchdown run before McEwen answered on the ensuing drive on a 26-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Kale Parchman to tight end Austin Baker.
Sneed scored on a 45-yard draw up the middle in the second quarter to give East Robertson 12-7 lead.
With the Indians inside the Warriors 5-yard line, wide receiver Tyler Perry fumbled the football at the 2-yard line and McEwen recovered. But on the first play of the next drive, East Robertson linebacker Preston Mooneyhan sacked Parchman for a safety to give the Indians a 14-7 lead.
McEwen scored the next two touchdowns and led 21-14 entering the fourth quarter before ERHS tailback Marquece Bell provided the game’s final margin on a one-yard touchdown run with 10:51 to play in the game.