NORTH LEWISBURG — Triad and North Union traded blows throughout Friday night’s contest, with enough offensive fireworks to keep everyone happy. In the end, it was the visiting team which went home the most happy with a 55-35 win.
The Cardinals struck first, with Trent McIntyre connecting with Timmy Marsalis for a 21-yard strike on the opening drive of the game.
The Wildcats answered with a Luke Krawczyk touchdown run from 5 yards away.
McIntyre crossed the goal line from 22 yards away with a terrific run to make it 14-7 Triad before Isaiah Mason tied it up with a 14-yarder for North Union.
Severe weather forced a delay in the action, but play resumed with five minutes left in the first half and North Union driving.
The Wildcats punched it in with a 1-yard run by Mason, but the Cards responded when McIntyre ran in his second touchdown from 25 yards with less than a minute remaining to knot it at 21 points each.
After a shortened halftime, the teams came at each other again.
Triad drew first blood, on another long run by McIntyre. The fleet-footed signal caller kept the ball on a run up the middle, danced his way through traffic using a mixture of crow hops and jukes, then dashed to the end zone – 36 yards away.
North Union wasted no time responding, going over the top and up the middle of Triad’s defense until Mason ran it in from 5 yards away just a few plays later to tie it up at 28 points.
The next drive spelled disaster for Triad. North Union recovered a fumble and had excellent field position – inside Triad’s 40-yard line.
Triad’s defense gave up a touchdown pass on fourth-and-6 a few plays later and the Wildcats led 34-28 after a missed extra point.
Triad was driving to respond late in the third quarter when a vicious hit wrenched the ball loose from a receiver. He caught the loose ball again before getting drilled once more and fumbling it into the arms of a defender for an interception.
But the Wildcats coughed the ball up themselves on the very next play, giving the Cardinals another chance.
They cashed it in a couple plays later, with McIntyre running the ball in from 5 yards out to tie the game at 34 point each. The extra point was converted and made it 35-34 Triad with a minute left in the third quarter.
North Union stuck its nose out front once more when Mason carried another one into the end zone. A two-pointer made it 42-35 with 9:35 left in the game.
Triad coach Payton Printz gambled on the next possession, going for it on fourth down near his own 35-yard line. McIntyre came up short and North Union took over on downs.
The Wildcats put the game away on the ensuing drive, scoring on a 22-yard run with just under six minutes to play and extending the lead to 48-35 after another missed extra point.
The Cardinals were forced to go for it on fourth-and-7 from their own 27 on the next drive, with McIntyre completing a long pass to Marsalis for the conversion.
The drive ended a couple plays later when a receiver bobbled a pass and tipped it into the hands of a defender for an interception.
The teams alternated possessions until the final whistle, with North Union grinding clock and recovering a Triad fumble to add insult to injury and finishing with a 21-yard touchdown run with less than 30 seconds left on a fourth-and-1.
M’burg postponed until Saturday
MECHANICSBURG – The only thing that could slow down Mechanicsburg’s offense Friday night was the weather.
Lightning in the area forced the postponement of the game versus Fairbanks until Saturday.
The Indians opened the game with a 62-yard kick return by Kaleb Romero. The boys in purple drove down the field without difficulty, scoring with just over two minutes gone by on a 1-yard run by Wade Smitty.
A few minutes later, Romero scrambled out of the pocket on third-and-long, evaded the pressure and dashed 60 yards to the end zone.
Possession changed a couple of more times, most notably on a Fairbanks punt that hit a Mechanicsburg blocker and allowed the Panthers their best field position of the quarter.
Play was suspended with 10:59 left in the second quarter, with Fairbanks in possession of the ball and facing third-and-12.
Play is scheduled to resume here at 7 p.m. on Saturday.