Mountain Lions lose shootout vs. Eminence

Published 4:32 pm Monday, September 11, 2023

By Shane Shackleford

Contributing writer

The perfect storm of circumstances seems to be following the young Pineville Mountain Lions so far this season.

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The combination of a very young roster, a schedule in which their opponents are a combined 15-1 overall, and competing with rosters that are dominated by upperclassmen have made the sledding extremely difficult for Lions.

But to their credit, the Lions have consistently gave their best effort in the face of circumstances. Unfortunately the wins haven’t followed suit.

Pineville (0-4) fought all night against visiting Eminence (4-0) but could not get over the hump in a 56-30 loss.

The Warriors rode an epic performance from junior quarterback Blaze Berry, who threw for over 350 yards and six touchdowns against the youthful PHS defense.

Pineville’s offense was led by sophomore back Landon Robbins’ 200 yards rushing and junior receiver/quarterback Sawyer Thompson’s three combined scores.

The Lions threw the first punch quickly with a 43-yard strike from freshman signal caller Deakon Partin to Thompson that set up the Lions at the 1. Thompson scored on the next play and gave Pineville a 6-0 lead.

Berry and the Warriors responded with consecutive scores, one from 27 yards to Jarren Beverly and one from 23 to Avery Holland.

The Lions and Warriors traded scores before the half on a 17-yard score from Partin to Thompson and a 14-yard play from Berry to Dalton Gambrel to close the first half scoring at 22-14 Eminence.

The third quarter was a wild affair with 38 points, three Eminence player ejections, and two turnovers, one by each club.

In see saw fashion, the Warriors scored on two Berry passes, 21 yards to Holland, 30 yards to Gambrel, and added a 75 yard run by Gambrel.

The Lions answered with a combination of power running by Robbins and timely completions in the passing game. Their scoring came from a four yard pass from Thompson to senior back Jacob Maggard and a five yard run from Robbins.

The Warriors salted the game away with a 7-yard touchdown run by Gambrel and a 49-yard pass from Berry to Joshua Holland.

Despite another tough loss, Pineville coach Allen Harris saw growth and improvement.

“It’s no secret how young of a team we are, but we aren’t going to use it as an excuse. I was really proud of our kids effort,” he said. “The last two weeks we’ve been right there to win but couldn’t get over the hump. But we won’t quit or back down. Their time is coming.”

The Lions continue their home stand next week with Lee (Va.) coming to the Gem City. Kickoff is set for 7:30.


Scoring summary

Eminence 6-16-22-12 — 56

Pineville 8-6-16-0 — 30

P — Thompson 1 run (Robbins run)

E — Beverly 27 pass from Berry (conversion failed)

E — Holland 23 pass from Berry (Berry pass to Beverly)

P — Thompson 17 pass from Partin (conversion failed)

E— Gambrel 14 pass from Berry (Berry pass to Beverly)

E—  Holland 21 pass from Berry (conversion failed)

P — Maggard 4 pass from Thompson (Partin run)

E — Gambrel 30 pass from Berry (Holland pass from Berry)

P — Robbins 5 run (Thompson pass to Robbins)

E — Gambrel 75 run (Gambrel pass from Berry)

E — Gambrel 7 run (conversion failed)

E — J. Holland 49 pass from Berry (conversion failed)