Sanderson gave powerful Jack Britt all the Buccaneers could handle in the first round of the state 4AA football playoffs before falling 42-35.
It was another close loss for the 6-6 Spartans under coach Ben Kolstad. Britt will host Garner next week in round two.
Sanderson gave the 9-3 Bucs a couple of scoring opportunities early and trailed 21-7 after the first quarter.
From that point the Spartans stayed close enough to have a shot in the final minutes of the game.
Sanderson drove 73 yards and scored on a 4-yard pass from Matt Koehler to Leonel Katuku with 2:53 to play.
The Spartans defense then held Britt and the offense got to the Bucs 40 yard line but the chances for the first round upset ended when tailback Jeriko Styles, who rushed for 148 yards in the game, fumbled and Britt recovered with just 1:14 left in the game.
South View 20, Riverside 17: South View's interception in the end zone stopped Riverside's furious fourth quarter rally to hold on in the 4AA playoffs. Riverside trailed 20-3 in the fourth quarter after South View's Jeremy Cox scored his second touchdown of the game with 8:24 left to play.
Riverside answered quickly on its ensuing possession. Joel Evans finally broke loose and scampered 61 yards for the score. The touch down closed the gap to 20-10 with 7:28 remaining. On South View's next possession, a bad snap squirted away from the quarterback and Riverside's Patrick Volk recovered at the Tigers' 24-yard line.
The Pirates later matched to Tigers' 34-yard line, aided by a 33-yard pass by Dionte Strothers to Deon Yarborough. But Strothers next pass was intercepted in the end zone by David McNair with 1:37 left in the game.
"Their defense was stifling us most of the game," Riverside head coach David Hackney said of South View. "Their physicality kind of got to us," Hackney added.
Knightdale 38, Southern Alamance 18: Knightdale jumped on Southern Alamance early and rolled to a first football playoff win in Knightdale High School history, defeating the Patriots 38-15 in the first round of the 4A playoffs Friday.
I didnt really think about it in those terms, Knightdale coach Rob Senseney said of the historical significance of the victory. I just said come out here and play and win a playoff game, but to put it in perspective its a great job by the kids and coaches. Its a big win.
Knightdale improved to 10-1, while No. 13 Southern Alamances season ended with a 6-6 mark.
The Patriots were without senior quarterback and Duke recruit Johnathan Lloyd, who had had rolled his ankle in a loss to Greensboro Page the week before, ending a 3,000-plus yard season passing. Freshman Tanner Wilson took over under center, completing 10 of 19 passes for 117 yards.
We prepared for (Lloyd) as if he was playing, Senseney said. Him being out didnt really change what they did. They ran their offense and that freshman (Wilson) did a good job for them.
The Knights built a 24-7 halftime lead on a 40-yard rushing score by senior quarterback Marquavious Johnson, a 14-yard pass from Johnson to Daquan Lilly, a 9-yard rush by Nate Harvey and a 34-yard field goal by Taylor Betts. Betts never missed a kick in the game.
Scotland 42, Heritage 7: Scotland County (12-0) showed why it is ranked among the best teams in the state as it rolled past Heritage (6-6) in a 4A game.
New Bern 35, Southeast Raleigh 21: Southeast and New Bern battled back and forth in the 4A game, but the Bears (9-3) rallied for the last two touchdowns, including one in the final minutes. Southeast finished 4-7.
Knightdale 38, Southern Alamance 15: Knightdale was too quick for Southern Alamance as the Knights raced into the second round of the 4A playoffs.
New Hanover 40, Northern Durham 0: New Hanover (9-3) advanced to the second round while Northern fiished 3-9.
Wilson Fike 41, Lee County 26: Fike exploded in the fourth quarter to overtake Lee County, which led going into the period.
West Brunwick 44, Corinth Holders 37: West Brunswick made two defensive stops in the final four minutes of play to hold off Corinth Holders for a 44-37 win in the 3AA playoffs.
The Trojans (4-7) stopped the Pirates on fourth down at the Corinth Holders 43-yard-line with 3 minutes, 47 seconds to play, turning their ensuing drive into the go ahead touchdown on a 24-yard run by senior quarterback Dylan Darguzas.
Corinth Holders (7-5) did its best to force overtime, driving to the West Brunswick 11 with 13 seconds to play before cornerback Devontae Hewett intercepted a pass in the end zone to end the comeback attempt.
Cole Sawoski threw for 235 yards and two touchdowns in the loss for Corinth Holders.
Cleveland 33, Grays Creek 13: Isaac Martin ran for 117 yards and three scores while Aaron Farmer threw for 114 yards and ran for 109 more to lead Cleveland into the second round of the NCHSAA 3AA playoffs with a 33-13 win over Hope Mills Gray's Creek. The Rams (9-3) built a 19-0 lead over the game's first 21 minutes but a Jeff Gibson touchdown as time expired in the first half gave the Bears the momentum.
Gray's Creek (5-7) then marched to the Cleveland two-yard line on its first drive in the second half before being turned away on fourth-and-goal on a pivotal goal line stand.
"When you get into playoff time, it's a special feeling," Cleveland coach Marc Morris said. "Every game's hard with the way the state has it set up with you down to 32 teams.
"We're real fortunate to be going into the second round, that is a real feat."
Don McNeill led the Bears with 145 rushing yards and a touchdown while Gibson added 106 more yards on the ground and accounted for Gray's Creek's other score.
Orange 31, Rocky Mount 3: Whatever bad feelings the Orange defense took away their loss to Southern Durham last week, it took them out on Rocky Mount team in the first round of the NCHSAA 3A playoffs Friday night . The Orange defenders sacked quarterback Joshua Carter five times.
The Panthers will travel to Cleveland next week for their second playoff game.
Cardinal Gibbons 44, Triton 28: Cardinal Gibbons got a huge night from quarterback Shawn Stankavage to advance past Triton in the 3AA East playoffs.
Stankavage threw four touchdowns in the first half and added one more on the ground and another by air in the second half. He carved up the Hawks' defense on 26-of-33 passing for 281 yards.
Two of his touchdowns went to Earl Gill and two more went to Dante DiMaggio (8 catches, 114 yards), who went over the 1,000 yard mark for the year. James Sriaraman also added a touchdown catch.
The Hawks (9-3) got two touchdown passes from Jeremy Leggett to Chris Eason. D'angelo Harris (11 carries, 107 yards) and Leggett also added touchdown runs.
Gibbons will play at Big Eight Conference foe Southern Durham in the next round. Southern won the first meeting 45-28.
Princeton 59, Granville Central 22: Johnny Frazier scored six touchdowns and rushed for 350 yards in the first half as the Bulldogs (9-3) built a 52-8 lead in the 1AA game. Granville Central finished 7-5.
Lakewood 34, Louisburg 14: Lakewood delivered 20 unanswered points in the final 7:06 to break open 1-AA . The score was tied at 14-14 before Louisburg (8-4) was stopped one inch short on fourth down at its own 32-yard line early in the fourth period.
Three plays later, Leopards' quarterback Jeffrey Tanner threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to give his team the lead for good. After stopping the Warriors on downs, Lakewood (8-4) added some insurance on Haywood Mack's 25-yard TD burst up the middle with 4:52 remaining.
Rocky Mount Academy 42, Southampton, Va. 30: Rocky Mount Academy handed Southampton, the two-time N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association eight-man football champs, it first loss of the season in the championship game.
J. Mike Blake, Jay Mumford, Aaron Moody, David Justice, Keith Cramer, Mike Held and D. Clay Best contributed to this story.