Football

Sanderson stalls, drops season opener to East Forsyth

Posted August 20

— Sanderson's season started a day late and at an unfamiliar stadium, and the season opener didn't go the way the Spartans had hoped.

East Forsyth traveled to Raleigh and left with a 14-9 win over Sanderson in a game that was played on Saturday evening at Cardinal Gibbons High School. The game was moved to Cardinal Gibbons due to construction at Sanderson's stadium.

Sanderson made the first big play. In the first quarter, on the Eagles' first drive of the game, Calvin Levinson blocked an East Forsyth punt to give Sanderson the ball deep in East Forsyth territory.

The ensuing Spartan drive stalled though and the Sanderson settled for an Alex Moss field goal from 24 yards away, giving the team a 3-0 lead over East Forsyth with 5:23 left in the first quarter.

Later in the quarter, East Forsyth tried to tie it up with a 49-yard field goal, but the attempt was short.

Sanderson's 3-0 lead held through the first quarter.

Things changed in the second quarter. East Forsyth put together a drive that put the Eagles inside the red zone. Jaelon Maxie carried the ball to the Sanderson one-yard line and fumbled, but it was recovered in the end zone by Brandon Bullins for a touchdown.

East Forsyth led 7-3 with 9:27 left in the second quarter.

The Eagles would add another score before halftime when Bullins connected with Nick Childs for a 28-yard touchdown reception. The pass was a screen pass to the right side, but Childs reversed the field and used the left sideline to score.

Childs' touchdown reception and run gave East Forsyth a 14-3 lead going into halftime.

Sanderson's defense stood tall in the second half, giving the Spartans multiple opportunities to take the lead.

With 8:56 left in the third quarter, Vincent Thomas, Jr. intercepted a pass by Bullins, giving Sanderson the ball on the Eagles' 36-yard line. Trent Pennix broke a 15-yard run down to the 21-yard line, then a 19-yard run by Justin Dunn put the ball on the two-yard line. That's when Alim McNeill broke into the end zone, but the extra point failed and Sanderson trailed 14-9 with 8:04 left in the third quarter.

Late in the fourth quarter, East Forsyth found itself in a fourth down and goal situation on Sanderson's two-yard line. The Eagles went for the score, but the Sanderson defense held them at the one-yard line, giving the Spartans one final chance.

After picking up a couple of first downs, Sanderson began to stall. The Spartans faced fourth down and five and Nate Wyse sacked Dunn, causing a fumble. With possession, and inside the Sanderson 10-yard line, East Forsyth was able to run out the clock and secure the week one victory.

Sanderson will return to play on Aug. 25 with a home game against Knightdale at 7 p.m. East Forsyth will travel to Mount Tabor on Friday for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.

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