By Bonitta Best
DURHAM –Durham Hillside was booted out of the state football playoffs for the second time in four year on a roughing the snapper penalty.
Southeast Guilford kicker Will Greene kicked a 42-yard field goal that just made it over the crossbar with no time remaining to give the Falcons an upset 17-14 Friday night win.
Less than a minute earlier, Southest Guilford running back Shakir Turner dashed up the middle for 31 yards to pull the Falcons to 14-13 with 47.5 seconds left. Hillside’s Robert Traynham blocked the point-after attempt, but the Hornets were called for the penalty. Greene made the second try to tie the game.
On Hillside’s next possession, Sterling Brooks intercepted QB Cinco Simmons at the Hornets’ 30-yard line. Two plays later Greene kicked the game-winner.
In 2008, Hillside thought it had the game won against Fayetteville Douglas Byrd after blocking a field goal with 11 seconds remaining, but was called for roughing the snapper. Byrd won the game 9-6.
“We shot ourselves in the foot so many times,” Hillside coach Antonio King said. “We squandered a bunch of opportunity, but they were a game bunch of guys.”
The win is redemption for the Falcons who were shut out by the Hornets 46-0 in 2010.
North Carolina recruit Khris Francis was held to 93 yards, all in the first half as SE Guilford’s defense allowed just 16 rushing yards in the second half and shut out the high-scoring Hornets defense.
“My defensive coaches put together a great game plan,” Falcons coach Fritz Hessenthaler said. “Our offense hung in there and I’m just as proud as I can of these guys.”
The Falcons made an early statement by taking its initial drive and going 74 yards on 13 plays that culminated in Turner’s 14-yard run for a 7-0 lead.
Despite giving up two interceptions in the first half, SE Guilford’s stingy defense kept the Hornets out of the end zone by stopping Hillside twice on fourth down.
The Hornets finally broke through in the second quarter on Dontae Thomas-Williams’ 11-yarder to tie the game. Francis put his team ahead with a 1-yard plunge as the first half was drawing to a close.