Monday, Nov. 6, was the last time the senior group of Western Harnett Eagles took the field in a competitive football game. As they desperately gave everything they had to try and win the last game for the seniors, it just wasn’t meant to be. The Western Harnett Eagles fell short to the Union Pines Vikings 21-10.
In an entertaining game, due to a football field disguised as a muddy pig sty, Western’s defense came up with a fumble recovery with 4:20 left in the first quarter. The Eagles capitalized with a Dillon Smith field goal to take a 3-0 lead. Smith has had a steady and consistent leg for Western, as he is responsible for the punting, field goal and kickoff duties.
Midway through the second quarter, Eric Bradshaw ended up with the ball for an interception off an uncanny throw by the Union Pines quarterback. When asked how he ended up with the interception, his best friend Jaysten McLean quickly intervened, saying, “I spooked the quarterback.” Whether or not that’s the case, it was Bradshaw’s first interception of the season and a highlight he won’t ever forget.
With barely anytime left in the first half Union Pines got on the score board on a deep pass in the corner of the end zone. The extra point was no good. The game went into halftime with Union Pines up 6-3.
The third quarter began and proved to be the Achilles’ heel for the Eagles. After only giving up 6 points in the first two quarters, they gave up 15 points in the third quarter alone. Western did get a touchdown in the period on a beautiful pass-and-catch by sophomore quarterback Tristin Ung to senior running back Tamarius Davis. The game ended with a scoreless fourth quarter.
Western ended its season with an overall record 2-8. The Eagles finished tied for fourth place in the Tri-County Conference with a 2-3 record in conference play. After the game, the always classy Western head coach Blake Culbertson spoke highly about his seniors.
“I appreciate the seniors’ work ethic and desire to practice hard and get better every day,” Culbertson said.