Fayetteville Seventy-First came to Southern Pines and made a statement Friday night.
The Falcons built a 21-point lead and held Pinecrest to 9 first-half rushing yards en route to a very physical 28-14 win.
Welcome to the Sandhills Athletic Conference, men.
Seventy-First's ground and pound attack frustrated the Patriot defense as the Falcons confidently marched down the field on the first two offensive possessions taking large chuncks of yards per carry. Quarterback Kyler Davis found an open Reggie Bryant for a 37-yard touchdown pass on the first series, and running back Fabian Jones scored on a 2-yard run on the second Falcon drive.
Juan Maddox's 4-yard plunge into the end zone gave Seventy-First (4-1; 1-0) a three-score lead at recess.
Pinecrest's second-half adjustments helped as quarterback Greg Van Steen found Darius Barrett for a 25-yard catch and acrobatic run for the first Patriot score of the night midway through the third quarter. The other score came early in the fourth when Dylan Gray caught a tipped ball in the end zone for a 9-yard score.
Statistically speaking, the game was close. Pinecrest (3-2; 0-1) finished with 308 yards of total offense of which 159 came on the ground. Van Steen completed 10 of 13 passes for 149 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Seventy-First had 306 yards of total offense, 166 coming the ground. Davis completed 8 of 13 passes for 140 yards and one touchdown.
The incidentals also had an impact in the outcome. Pinecrest was flagged 13 times for 155 yards, and the Patriots lost the turnover battle giving up one on a late fumble. Seventy-First had the ball for 26:15 while the Patriots had it 9:45.
Pinecrest visits Richmond Senior next week. The Raiders (3-2; 1-0) beat Purnell Swett 56-34 last night.