ST> PAULS — East Bladen rallied late in the game Friday to earn a 34-28 win over St. Pauls, its second straight late-game comeback for a Three Rivers Conference victory.
The win improves East Bladen to 7-1 overall and 5-1 in the conference.
The Bulldogs got on the board first with a touchdown 2:40 into the game, but the Eagles answered with a march to the end zone, capped by a 1-yard scoring run by Eric Chancy. Pierce Melvin’s PAT knotted the game with 2:52 left in the first quarter.
On East Bladen’s next possession, Xavier Wooten finished off a drive with a 1-yard touchdown and Melvin’s extra point put the Eagles up 14-7 2:34 into the second stanza.
St. Pauls responded with a scoring drive that re-tied the game at 14-14 halfway through the quarter, and that’s where the half ended.
East Bladen wasted little time with the opening possession of the second half, as Chancy ran 8 yards for a score just 38 seconds into the third quarter. Melvin booted the point after to give East Bladen a 21-14 edge.
But the Bulldogs came right back, tying things up again with a touchdown 4:50 into the second half.
St. Pauls stopped the Eagles and then mounted another scoring drive, this one coming just inside the fourth quarter. The PAT gave the Bulldogs a 28-21 edge, but East Bladen countered with a scoring drive of its own, finished off with a 12-yard touchdown by Wooten with 7:22 left to play. Melvin’s kick was good and tied the game at 28-28.
After stopping a St. Pauls drive at its own 10, East Bladen began a methodical drive that went 90 yards and ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by Sincere Smith with just 15 seconds left on the clock. Smith came up big on defense moments later when he botched a Bulldogs’ hook-and-ladder play and fell on the fumble.
Wooten led East Bladen’s ground game with 239 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries, while Chancy rushed for 51 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries.
East Bladen will host East Columbus on Friday.