Wow! We could have a winning season
By Brad Crawford
Arrive at UNCP any game day Saturday this fall and you are sure to see an overcrowded English E. Jones Center parking lot three hours before kickoff, packed with tailgaters and fans clad in black and gold attire.
What may be even more surprising is what’s happening on the field. We’re winning.
Expected by many to be the typical opening year program marred by turnovers, penalties and losses, the Braves have won two consecutive games evening their record to 3-3, relying on a balanced offensive game plan and a hard-hitting defense.
After beginning the season 1-3, with lopsided losses to Wingate and Jacksonville, the Braves could’ve easily thrown in the towel and called it a season.
Instead, UNCP has begun striking fear in its opponents and has shown the ability to bounce back from devastating injuries despite an overall inexperienced starting lineup.
Local area players are having their presence felt as South View High School products Brandon McLaurin and Josh Throckmorton have become focal points of a balanced offensive scheme.
McLaurin, one of head coach Pete Shinnick’s initial signees way back in February 2006, has fueled the Black and Gold offense in the past two games, registering back-to-back 100-yard rushing tallies, filling in well for injured early season starter Rashon Kennedy.
Throckmorton’s 16 receptions lead the team and his highlight reel 47-yard grab from Ryan Horton sealed an Oct. 6, 31-21 victory over Webber International.