BURGAW — East Carteret finally grabbed its first win of the 2019 season Friday with a 27-20 triumph at Pender.
A young Mariners squad that has 17 underclassmen on its 30-player roster improved to 1-4 overall and 1-0 in in the 1A/2A Coastal 8 Conference.
Pender remained winless on the season, falling to 0-5 overall and 0-1 in the league.
One of those East underclassmen had a breakout performance versus the Patriots as Jacob Nelson scored three touchdowns.
The freshman caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from sophomore Adam McIntosh early in the second quarter and then scored on a 54-yard touchdown pass from McIntosh on the final play of the first half.
Midway through the third quarter, he added to his special night by taking a kickoff 80 yards to the house.
McIntosh finished off the scoring on a 4-yard run early in the fourth quarter to give his team the lead for good. He ended the contest with 81 yards on 12 carries and went 7-of-8 through the air for 152 yards.
A 60-yard pass to Deon Todd, who had three catches for 75 yards, set up McIntosh’s touchdown run.
Deshawn Frazier added 43 yards on eight carries, while Qualik Nolon had 21 yards on six carries.
East totaled 297 yards on offense and gave up just 215 on defense.
Jathan Parker had a sack and Miguel Bassotto a tackle for loss in the fourth quarter to keep Pender off the scoreboard and secure the win.
The Patriots looked to tie it up in the final period on a fake punt that went the distance, but the touchdown was called back for holding.
The game was marked by quick answers. Pender scored two minutes after East’s first touchdown, then after Nelson’s score on the final play of the first quarter, the Patriots scored 13
seconds into the second half.
Pender took its first lead of the game, 20-14, with 7:08 to go in the third quarter, and the Mariners answered 15 seconds later on Nelson’s kickoff return.
East will play its fourth straight game on the road this Friday at Richlands. The Wildcats are 2-3 overall and 1-3 in the Coastal 8 after a 40-8 win over Trask (0-5, 0-1).