LINCOLNTON, N.C. --- While several area games were postponed, East Lincoln not only elected to play rival Lincolnton on Friday night, but the Mustangs easily ran their unbeaten streak to 22 with a 40-21 victory on the heels of four Chazz Surratt touchdowns.
Chazz Surratt, East Lincoln, ‘16
As with his other coaching stoops, Mike Byus employs a productive offense at East Lincoln. Surratt is not only the engine of that offense, but he’s also the wheels and the navigation system. As such, 68-percent of the offensive plays were either a Surratt throw or a Surratt run – and that share jumps above 80-percent when the fourth quarter, with East Lincoln leading by three possessions, is removed.
As always has been the case, Surratt, who finished with a game-high 194 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries (9.2-yard average), is a man amongst boys as a runner. He runs with a lot of power (clips 6, 10, 19), but is also surprisingly nimble (clips 1, 7, 16) and maintains his balance while bouncing off defenders (clips 8, 12). He generates a lot of force, which allows him to consistently gain yards upon contact, break tackles, and limit TFLs. Rarely will a single defender bring Surratt down (clip 2). Just as important as any running attribute, the 6-foot-3, 197-pounder has the thick build to absorb punishment.
Even with a steady rain and the obvious game plan to favor the run, Surratt’s passing accuracy was as consistent as I’ve seen it. He completed 73-percent of his passes for 125 yards with a pair of touchdowns, and displayed a complete inventory of passes. While he certainly can zing a high-velocity throw into a receiver’s hands (clips 3, 5, 9, 11, 14), Surratt also knows when to lead his target with a touch pass (clips 4, 13).
Sage Surratt, East Lincoln, ‘17
Of Chazz Surratt’s throws, brother Sage was on the other end of a large majority. Sage caught eight passes, including both touchdown, for 88 yards. The rest of East Lincoln’s receivers: 3 receptions for 37 yards and zero touchdowns. It’s obvious that there’s a connection there and if Sage chooses to play football in college (he has been offered a football scholarship by UNC, but prefers basketball) the Tar Heels could tap into that connection.
Cordell Littlejohn, Lincolnton, ‘18
Although very raw and needs to cut down on his mistakes, Littlejohn has the potential to develop into a college quarterback. The 6-foot-2, 179-pounder completed 10-of-14 passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 34 yards and another score.