APEX — Despite a shaky start and an early 21-point deficit, the Holly Springs Golden Hawks rolled to a 41-24 win at Apex on Friday night.
Two Donte Smalls first quarter touchdowns put the Apex Cougars out in front 14-0. On the first play of the second quarter, junior linebacker John Barrett picked up a Golden Hawks fumble and took it 67 yards down to the 3-yard line. Quincy Mangum pushed Apex's lead to 21 one play later.
With 11:41 left in the first half, the Cougars led by three touchdowns. Holly Springs responded with a two-play 80-yard scoring drive to make it 21-7. Senior running back Markez Davis broke through Apex's defensive line and rumbled 79 yards before being tripped up from behind a yard short of the end zone. Junior quarterback Brett Hudspeth finished it off with a keeper off the left side for the touchdown.
Davis' first score of the game came with 5:32 left in the second quarter on a 2-yard run that pulled the Hawks to within a touchdown.
Defensive back Von Williams took care of getting Holly Springs the ball back with a pick just inside the Hawks' own 25-yards line.
Hawks Jerrel Herndon busted through the middle and crossed the goal line with 3:03 left to tie the score at 21.
Hudspeth capped the opening drive of the second half with a 2-yard score to give the Hawks their first lead of the game at 28-21. A 46-yard Alex Calogero field goal pulled the Cougars to within four, but Holly Springs answered with another Davis scoring from four yards out.