DURHAM — With 4:09 left to play and Durham Hillside down by one, there was no question who was going to get the call.
And senior running back Khris Francis didnt disappoint.
The North Carolina recruit scooted in from 17 yards to give Hillside an 18-13 come-from-behind win over rival Durham Southern. The lead was the Hillsides only one of the night.
You had to question (who I was going to), Hillside coach Antonio King said jokingly. We have some talented guys on this team, but Ive got to roll with the guy whos been with me for four years.
Francis finished the night with all of Hillsides points and 31 carries for 301 yards. The Hornets have won three straight games over the Spartans after losing three from 2007-09.
My offensive line really blocked for me tonight, Francis said. The holes were so open, they looked three yards deep. It gave me more room to move.
Despite Francis heroics, the Spartans still had one last chance to win the game. With 3:32 left from their own 29, Southern quickly drove down field to the Hornets 15. But a fumble, which Hillsides other UNC recruit Korrin Wiggins recovered, sealed the deal.
Hillside won despite committing five turnovers three lost fumbles and two interceptions but its defense stood tall when needed.
We shot ourselves in the foot so many times, we just couldnt get anything going, King said. But we knew they werent stopping the run so thats where we went.
Southern came out of the gate with its first trick play of the game. Quarterback Kendall Hinton pitched the ball to wide receiver Derrick Mason who threw it to receiver Jamario Johnson for 63 yards. Four plays later Hinton hit Johnson again from two yards out on fourth down and the Spartans led 7-0.
The Hornets got their own break with 5:45 left in the half on a blocked punt at the Southern 39. Francis finished the deal to close Hillside to 7-6 after the blocked PAT.
Southern place-kicker Oscar Cisneros-Diazs kicked back-to-back field goals of 24 yards and 27 yards to increase the Spartans lead 13-6 at halftime.
The Hornets put together their best long drive of the night, going 58 yards on 12 plays that ended on Francis 7-yarder. The blocked PAT left the score 13-12 in favor of Southern.