ROCKY POINT –West Bladen came out on the short side of a defensive, penalty filled battle Thursday, falling on a late touchdown to Heidi Trask 13-7 in a Four County Conference matchup.
The Knights’ loss was their fifth straight after a rash of injuries forced coach Todd Pait to start a number of underclassmen and dropped West Bladen to 2-5 overall, 0-3 in the conference. The Titans improved to 6-1, 2-1.
“The guys played hard, especially the defense, which was outstanding,” Pait said after the game. “Hunter Pait and Traquan Smith played their best game of the year.”
Trask opened the scoring with a touchdown in the first quarter on a 60-yard scamper and PAT for a 7-0 edge, but the Knights answered quickly.
The West Bladen march was highlighted by a 45-yard pass from quarterback Scott Bowen to tight end Trent West and an 18-yard run by James Moore. B.J. Drake finished off the drive with a 20-yard touchdown run and the extra point by Bowen knotted the score at 7-7 — where it remained until halftime.
After a scoreless third quarter, where penalties continued to plague the Knights, Heidi Trask used a botched punt in the fourth quarter to take over possession at the Knights’ 25. Moments later, the Titans punched the ball in to steal the six-point win.
“The penalties, about 100 yards against us, were horrendous,” Todd Pait said. “We just made some mental mistakes.”
Drake led the West Bladen ground game with 165 yards rushing and the touchdown. Defensively, Hunter Pait recorded 15 tackles and Smith added 10 tackles, including three for a loss. Drake also had a sack for the Knights.
West Bladen will stay on the road for Friday’s conference game in Burgaw against Pender County.