Damarus Williams plowed ahead 35 times for 190 yards and one touchdown to lead Fuquay-Varina to a 24-13 victory over Athens Drive in a Southwest Wake Athletic 4A game.
Williams, a 5-foot-10, 190-pounder, carried 16 times for 84 yards in the first half and 19 times for 106 yards in the second half.
“The coaches told me before the game I had to step it up and hold on to the ball,” Williams said. “I loved it.”
On Fuquay’s first possession, Williams carried seven times on an eight-play drive that finished with a 30-yard field goal by William Mann for a 3-0 lead. In the fourth quarter, the Bengals ran out the clock when he carried seven straight times for 45 yards.
The Bengals only threw one pass, but it was good for a touchdown. Tyler McBride caught the ball at the Athens Drive 40-yard line on the hashmark and cut diagonally to the right side untouched to complete a 79-yard catch-and-run touchdown pass from Caleb Mundy.
Athens Drive was led by running back Dominique Lynch. He carried 19 times for 195 yards and a 12-yard touchdown run that gave the Jaguars’ a 7-3 lead in the second quarter. He also cut three balls for 27 yards, including a 17-yarder in the third period that trimmed Fuquay’s lead to 17-13.
Cleveland 34, South Johnston 12: Cleveland won its first conference football championship in school history with a 34-12 victory over South Johnston.
The Rams, which defeated second place Triton earlier this season, have wrapped up the league’s No. 1 playoff seeding for the state playoffs and no worse than a share of the Two Rivers 3A Conference championship.
Cleveland (7-3, 4-0) can win the title outright next week with a win over Western Harnett.
“The biggest thing you want is to get as high of a seeding as possible and we’ve taken a big step toward that by being the No. 1 seed from our conference,” said Cleveland coach Marc Morris. “You want to have home playoff games and then to play at home for as long as you can. The way you do that is to keep winning and improving your seed.
“It’s a credit to our kids and our coaching staff that they’ve put themselves to do just that, winning a conference championship.”
The Ram backfield tandem of senior running back Isaac Martin and junior quarterback Aaron Farmer both topped the 100-yard mark on the night and ran for multiple touchdowns, but South coach Shane Dular was pleased with his club’s defensive effort.
“Our defense played lights out for as long as they could,” said South Johnston coach Shane Dular. “Offensively we did a lot of good things but we had the ball in the red zone three times where we didn’t come away with points. That’s the difference in the game, right there.”
Northwood 31, Chapel Hill 24 (OT): Chapel Hill quarterback Grant Deselm rallied the Tigers for a dramatic late game-tying touchdown, but the Northwood defense stopped Chapel Hill in overtime for the Big Eight 3A victory.
Brandon Wendel caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from Deselm. Kadarus Rone scored on a two-yard run for Northwood in overtime.
Northwood’s Ti Pinnix passed for 182 yards, including 117 yards to Jalen Smith.
Corinth Holders 39, Smithfield-Selma 7: Corinth Holders (7-3, 2-2 in the Two Rivers) took control early in its first meeting against SSS in football. Cole Sakowski passed for 166 yards.
Wakefield 28, Heritage 13: Wakefield (9-1, 5-1) stayed in a tie for the Cap Eight 4A lead with Leesville Road with its victory over Heritage. Wakefield plays at Leesville Road for the regular-season title and the league’s No. 1 seed into the playoffs.
Hillside 52, East Chapel Hill 0: Hillside (7-2, 4-0) clinched the Piedmont Athletic 4A championship with the decisive win over East Chapel Hill (2-8, 1-3). Hillside is at home next week against Person before taking the league’s top playoff seed into the playoffs.
Southern Durham 56, Webb 7: Southern Durham (8-2, 5-0) continued to dominate the Big Eight 3A with an easy win over Oxford Webb. Wide receiver Maurice Trowell, an N.C. State recruit, topped 1,000 receiving yards in the victory.
Graham 41, Carrboro 13: Graham slowed down the Carrboro attack in the Mid-State 2A victory.
East Wake 31, Harnett Central 14: East Wake (4-6, 3-2 in the Greater Neuse) pulled away from Central (1-8, 0-5).
Northern Durham 42, Durham Jordan 7: Northern Durham scored 14 points in the first, second and fourth periods to top the Falcons in the Piedmont Athletic 4A game. The Knights (3-7, 3-1) are in second place in the PAC Six 4A.
Northern scored on a fumble return by Isiah Townsend, a 93-yard interception return by Atavion Oliver and an 88-yard kickoff return by Marcus Star.
Ravenscroft 31, Harrells 20: The Ravens allowed 265 rushing yards, but stopped Harrells when it needed to in the independent school victory. Tiger Harris rushed for 119 yards and scored one touchdown rushing and another receiving as the Ravens scored all of their points in the first half.
South Granville 62, Warren County 12: South Granville (8-2, 2-1) rolled over Warren County as Sean Bowman ran for three touchdowns and Matt McCutcheon passed for two.
Wake Christian 7, Cannon School 0: Beau Barger ran nine yards for the only touchdown with 6:43 left to give the Bulldogs (6-5, 3-2) the victory and their first winning season since moving to 11-man football.
North Raleigh 32, Fayetteville Christian 8: Junior Tripp Norris scored three early touchdowns and ran for 109 yards in leading North Raleigh Christian (3-7) to the independent schools victory. Quarterback Richard Landis passed for 219 yards and three touchdowns.
Lee County 39, Fayetteville Westover 2: Junior Jerry Pullum scored five touchdowns in leading the Yellow Jackets (8-2, 4-1) to the win over Westover (0-10, 0-5). The game was stopped in the third period.
Tom Shanahan and Clay Best contributed.