The Drew Central Pirates continued their non conference schedule on Friday night, hosting the Earle Bulldogs at Mike Pennington Stadium.
Earle who plays in the class 2-2A came into the contest with an overall record of 1-1 with Drew Central having an overall record of 1-1.
Drew Central would win the coin toss and elected to kick off to begin the contest.
Earle would get an excellent return on the opening kick off, with Joseph McVay taking the kick at the Bulldog 20 and returning the ball all the way to the Pirate 20 before being wrangled down by Gabe Butcher.
After a one-yard gain by Brian Powell Jr. the Bulldogs would throw two consecutive incomplete passes before a completion to McVay to the 18 that was shy of the first down marker, turning the ball over on downs.
Taking over on their own 18, the Pirates would give the ball to Kalani Collins for no gain on the first play.
Earle would be flagged for an offsides call to advance the Pirate position to their 23.
Collins would get the call on the next two plays, advancing to the Pirate 45 before Tre’Bennett Fuller added three yards to the 48 and another offsides call against Earle put the ball in Earle territory at the Bulldog 46.
Jayden Jones carried the ball to the Earle 36 and then to the 31 on the next possession.
After Collins advanced the ball to the Bulldog 29, Jones would break free on the next carry to cover the 29 yards for the Pirate score.
The two-point conversion was unsuccessful as the Pirates took the lead 6-0 with 6:46 remaining in the first quarter.
The Pirate defense would force Earle to punt on their next possession with the Bulldogs forcing the Pirates to turn the ball over on downs to begin the second quarter of play.
Taking over at the Pirate 34, the Bulldogs would lose yardage back to the Pirate 40 and again to the 45 after a false start penalty.
Bulldog quarterback Taron Hurst’s next pass would be intercepted by Brent Hornaday at the Pirate one for the turnover.
After an incomplete pass, the ball would get away from Fuller on the snap going out of the back of the endzone for a safety to make the score 6-2 in favor of the Pirates.
Earle would take the lead on the following possession after beginning their drive on the Pirate 31 following the punt after the safety.
After advancing the ball down to the Pirate 12, Hurst would connect with Karon Alston for the Bulldog score.
The two-point play was successful as the Bulldogs took a 10-6 lead with 9:06 remaining in the half.
The Pirates next possession would end on a Pirate turnover after a fumble gave Earle possession on the Pirate 21 with 8:12 left in the half.
Earle took advantage of the turnover and the good field position, advancing the ball down to the Pirate nine on the first carry.
A holding call on the next play would push the ball back to the Pirate 16, but Hurst connected with McVay on the next play for the Bulldog score followed by a two-point conversion by Alston to increase the lead to 18-6.
The Pirates next drive would have two penalties levied against the Pirates with a personal foul call and a holding call late in the drive that would negate a first down run with the Pirates turning the ball over on downs at the Earle 30.
Earle’s first play of the next possession saw Hurst break free to advance the ball to the Pirate six before Powell gained five to the one followed by a touchdown run and a two-point conversion to increase the lead to 26-6.
The score would remain 26-2 for the remainder of the half.
The Pirates would receive the ball to begin the second half of play, beginning their drive at their own 45 after a 10-yard kickoff return by Gabe Butcher.
Collins would get the majority of the carries on the drive with Collins scoring on a four-yard run and adding the two point conversion to cut the lead to 26-14.
Jase Watt would intercept an Earle pass for a touchback on the Bulldog’s next possession, but Earle would intercept a Fuller pass for a touchdown to increase the lead to 32-14.
Drew Central came back on their next possession to cut the lead to 32-20 after a 46-yard pass from Fuller to Watt with 11:49 left in the fourth quarter.
Earle added two more scores in the fourth quarter to increase their lead to 44-20 with 5:13 remaining in the game.
The Pirates added their final score of the contest on a 23-yard run by Jayden Jones and a two-point conversion by Tyviance Wormely to set up the final score of 44-28 in favor of the Bulldogs.
For Drew Central, Kalani Collins led the way on the ground with 140 yards and a touchdown. Jones rushed for 62 yards and two touchdowns.
Tre’Bennett Fuller was 7 for 19 with a touchdown and interception. Fuller also rushed for 61 yards.
Jase Watt led in receiving with 46 yards and a score followed by Brent Hornaday with 32 yards.
The Pirates will begin 6-3A Conference play on Friday, September 22, traveling to Camden Harmony Grove.
Harmony Grove is the early favorite to finish first in the conference.
Harmony Grove currently has an overall record of 2-2 with the Pirates coming into the contest with an overall record of 1-3.
Kick off is set for 7 pm.