Pisgah’s rally falls shortBrown shines in game’s final eight minutes
CANTON — Trailing 14-0 with 8:23 left in the game, Pisgah junior quarterback McKinley Brown stepped in for Josh Noland when he went down with a foot injury. No one seriously expected him to be able to turn the Black Bears’ fortunes around.
But he did.
Brown wasted little time in rallying the Black Bears as he threw a 25-yard touchdown pass on his first snap behind center to senior tight end Garrett Holland. Then just two minutes later, senior Dakota King bolted for a 47-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 14 with 6:09 left in the game.
However, Pisgah saw its hopes of a comeback, and Brown’s legacy in leading the comeback, fade when Franklin’s Marquell Manning rushed for a 77-yard touchdown with 5:50 left in the fourth quarter to give the visiting Panthers a 21-14 WNC Athletic Conference win over the Black Bears at Memorial Stadium Friday night.
Pisgah, which slides to 1-5 overall and 0-2 in the WNCAC, plays at West Henderson on Friday, Sept. 28. Franklin improves to 4-2 overall and 2-0 in the WNCAC.
Neither team’s offense was very effective in the first half, although Franklin managed to take a 7-0 halftime lead when quarterback Dalton Cochran threw a seven-yard TD pass to Trey Maslin with 5.5 seconds left in the second quarter.
Manning gave the Panthers a 14-0 lead with 2:36 left in the third quarter when he scored on a five-yard run.
Offensively, the Black Bears were bottled up on the ground to the tune of just 23 yards in the first half and Pisgah managed to rush for just 113 yards for the game.
Pisgah, which finished with 287 yards in total offense, threw for 191 yards as Brown was 5-of-10 for 82 yards and one touchdown pass in the final eight minutes. Before Noland’s injury forced him to the sidelines, the senior QB was an efficient 14-of-19 for 109 yards.
Franklin rushed for 307 yards, thanks to Manning’s 294 yards on the ground, and threw for only 65 yards as the Panthers finished with 372 yards in total offense.
King’s 67 yards rushing on just two carries led Pisgah, while Brown had 27 yards on the ground.
Holland hauled in two passes for 52 yards, Jesse Anderson had four receptions for 40 yards, Hunter Wike finished with four grabs for 26 yards and King had three catches for 31 yards.