HOLLY SPRINGS — Cary seniors Jordan Dawson and Elijah Bryant connected on two touchdown passes to help lead the Imps past Holly Springs 14-7 in the Tri-Nine 4A conference opener for both teams on Friday.
Dawson completed touchdown passes of 41 and 32 yards to Bryant, with the latter breaking a 7-7 tie with 1 minute, 55 seconds left in the third period.
Cary improved to 2-1 while the Hawks fell to 1-2 on the young season.
Bryant’s first score was earned with his speed, after catching a short pass and outracing Hawks defenders down the right sideline.
His second involved a bit of luck, as the ball bounced off a Hawks safety and right into Bryant’s opportunistic hands.
“We’ll definitely take it but it wasn’t how we drew it up,” said Cary coach Ben Kolstad. “This was a great battle and we just fought hard enough to win. They’re hard to defend and are going to give some people some problems this year.”
The Hawks had one last chance with under a minute in the contest, but Cary’s Paul Taylor (2 interceptions) broke up a fourth down pass attempt from Brett Hudspeth.
Holly Springs coach Will Orbin acknowledged it was a hard fought game by both teams.
“That was a heck of a football game,” said Orbin. “Cary was very physical up front and was able to stall our running game. It’s a tough loss, but you want to be involved in these types of close games.”
Cary tied the score 7-7 on Bryant’s first touchdown reception 5:17 before halftime. That drive started at the Imps’ 16-yard line, but Dawson and Marquise Sherrod-Ponds had big runs to set up the score.
Sherrod-Ponds led all ball carriers with 130 yards.