PISGAH — TIn an old-fashioned Jackson County rivalry game that featured ejections, a muddy field and hard play from both teams, North Sand Mountain took down Pisgah 49-18.
In Pisgah, NSM made it three straight over the Eagles as they used big plays to improve to 7-3 and prepare for a hopeful run in the Class 3A state playoffs. The Bison travel to Addison in the first round next week.
Senior quarterback Landon Green and receiver Lake Bell made the difference, hooking up on three long touchdowns that blew the game open.
“We came out and took care of business,” said NSM head coach Keith Kirby. “It’s a good win for us.”
The Eagles fell to 4-6, but thanks to different scenarios Friday night, found themselves in the Class 3A state playoffs next week when they travel to Westminster Christian.
On Friday night, though, on a cold night, the Bison came out hot. Early on Green and Bell connected twice, the first on a 63-yard touchdown, and then quickly followed by a 77-yard score that made it 14-0 after one quarter.
“They had explosive plays,” said Pisgah head coach Luke Pruitt.
The Bison pushed the lead to 21-0 on its third possession, marching 57 yards. Fernando Luna capped the drive with a 16-yard touchdown run.
The Eagles battled all night. After falling behind, Pisgah drove 70 yards behind sophomore Rhyan Barrett, who accounted for 50 of the yards, including a one-yard touchdown run to cut it to 21-6 with 2:13 left in the first half.
NSM, though, put the game away in the final two minutes. Green and Bell connected again on a 62-yard touchdown. Pisgah looked to cut the lead before half, driving from its own 13 to the NSM 41. However, sophomore Derek Bearden picked off an Eagle pass and returned it 77 yards for a touchdown to make it 34-6 at halftime.
The third quarter was more of the same when Damon Gentle returned the second half kickoff 76 yards to make it 42-6.
Pisgah scored after driving 57 yards on the ensuing drive. Barrett capped a 15-play drive with a one-yard touchdown run. NSM answered again, though, marching 80 yards, capped by Gentle’s two-yard touchdown run to make it 49-12 with :35.3 left in the third quarter.
Pisgah got one last score. Zach Cornelison set up the drive with a 50-yard kickoff return. Eight plays later, Cameron Free capped the drive with a one-yard touchdown run, making the final 49-18.
Green finished 9-of-10 passing, with one interception, for 270 yards and three touchdowns. Bell caught four passes for 205 yards and three touchdowns. Gentle finished with 91 yards rushing and a touchdown on nine carries and also had a kickoff return touchdown. Luna added 40 yards and a touchdown on five carries. Defensively, Greyson Chappelear had at least three tackles for losses, and Bearden had the interception.
NSM finished with 418 yards (148 rushing yards) on 30 plays.
For Pisgah, Barrett had 91 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries and caught two passes for 36 more yards. Tyler Bell had 76 yards on nine carries, while Nate Cornelison had 61 yards on 16 carries. Cornelison also had an interception on defense. Parker Law finished 3-of-9 passing for 39 yards with one interception.
Pisgah finished with 301 total yards (262 rushing yards) on 66 plays.