Players in this post:
Teams in this post:

Red Springs 34, Pender 24


RED SPRINGS | Coming off a big upset of Wallace-Rose Hill last week, the Pender football team was flying high, but the Patriots quickly grounded in their second-round matchup of the Class 1AA football playoffs.

An early two-touchdown deficit was too much to overcome.

"We didn't play our best ball in the first quarter," said Patriots coach Tony Hudson. "We picked it up in the second half but we dug ourselves too big of a hole. We lost to a good football team."

The Red Devils kept their foot on the pedal from the start, successfully performing an onside kick to start the game, followed by another one later in the half.

"The first one was big because they scored off of that one," Hudson said. "There were a few defensive mistakes in the first quarter that got us."

Devin Hansley and Caleb Johnson both rushed over 100 yards and scored for Pender (6-6), but the Patriots never could get the deficit under 10 points in the second half after the slow start.

Though their season is now over, the Patriots are optimistic for the talented, but inexperienced squad heading into next season.

"We still have a young group," Hudson said. "We have to get them in the weight room, class room, and start working. If we keep working hard, sky is the limit."