MOUNTAIN PINE -- Looking to avenge its single loss during last year's championship season, Mountain Pine came up short Friday night at Stanley May Field, falling 52-26 to Episcopal Collegiate.
After a tight first half that saw Episcopal Collegiate (1-0) leading 22-12, the Wildcats kept the momentum to open the second as junior quarterback Gray Lee threw a strike to senior Lance Viscioni-Wilson, who spun and broke several tackles to take it in from 46 yards out for the touchdown and a 30-12 lead after the successful 2-point conversion.
The Red Devils (0-1) answered on the following drive with large pickups from junior running backs Isaiah Miles and Keelan Dobbins before fellow junior running back Dayjon Matlock punched the ball in from 15 yards out to make it 30-18 after a failed 2-point attempt.
Both teams scored again to finish out the third quarter, first with Lee going in off the keeper at the 2:48 mark and then Miles snatching the catch over the middle and skirting in and out of defenders for a 47-yard score just 15 seconds later.
Leading 38-26 to open the fourth, the Wildcats held the Red Devils at their own 30-yard line to take possession and set up an eventual 30-yard touchdown by senior Wesley Wright, who also tacked on the 2-point. Continuing to hold the Red Devils, Episcopal junior Jack Harbour set the final by scoring from a yard out with 5:46 remaining.
Though they picked up the loss, Mountain Pine shot out of the gate quickly to open the game when on the opening drive, sophomore quarterback Jonah Wilburn found the 6-3, 275-pound junior James Glasco over the middle for a 38-yard gain just short of the goal line to set up a score from Miles and a 6-0 lead.
Episcopal responded on its ensuing drive as Wright proved hard to take down, marching the Wildcats up the field and into the end zone at the 4:11 mark to knot the score. Momentum shifted towards the Wildcats for good when they recovered their onside kick, which set up a touchdown by senior receiver Layne Keck who reeled in a 10-yard pass from Lee going into the second quarter.
The Red Devils answered with a score from Wilburn off the keeper less than two minutes into the second but continued to struggle with their 2-point conversion attempts. Lee once again found Viscioni-Wilson at the 8:28 mark from 23 yards out to go ahead by 10 going into the break.
Wilburn passed for 90 yards on the night while picking up 44 on the ground. Langley, who came in during the closing minutes to relieve Wilburn, had 48 yards rushing with 15 passing. Miles had 73 yards rushing and 15 in the air while garnering six tackles.
Dobbins had 55 yards rushing, 30 receiving and six tackles. Junior receiver Jayden Walker had 43 yards receiving with four tackles while Matlock had 40 yards rushing and five tackles. Senior Toby Seymour and sophomore Jamason Stephenson each had seven tackles with sophomores Miguel Honey and Zeke Turner and senior Andrew Goodin each adding four tackles.
Wright finished with 260 yards rushing for Episcopal while Viscioni-Wilson had 85 receiving yards. Lee added 95 rushing and 85 passing while Harbour had 30 yards rushing.
The Red Devils travel to Marshall next week to play the Bobcats while Episcopal has a bye week and will host Marshall on Sept. 10.
Episcopal also took the win in the junior high match, shutting out the junior Red Devils 14-0.