A more exciting night of high school football is hard to imagine.
Area teams played in nine games Friday night in the second round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs and all nine games were decided by nine points or less:
• Washington blocks Bunn’s field-goal attempt to win 35-32.
• Game ends on wild play as Southern Durham survives Cardinal Gibbons 33-28.
• Knightdale scores in final seconds for a 16-15 win against Durham Hillside.
• Middle Creek stops Hope Mills South View for 28-20 win.
• Garner holds on to top Fayetteville Britt 63-56.
• Warsaw Kenan makes big stop for 43-36 win against Princeton.
• Wake Forest’s defense stops Southern Pines Pinecrest 17-10.
• Orange outscores Cleveland 59-50.
• Millbrook tops Wakefield 23-16 in a Cap Eight 4A replay.
State record: Garner and Britt combined for what is believed to be a state-record 1,371 total offensive yards Friday.
The previous record was 1,254 yards by South Stanly and Anson County on Oct. 18, 1963.
Britt’s 732 total yards ranks among the N.C. High School Athletic Association’s all-time single-game totals.
Garner’s Nyheim Hines became the third rusher to gain more than 450 yards in a playoff game (454). T.J. Logan of Northern Guilford set the NCHSAA mark with 510 yards in the 2012 3AA title game, and Fayetteville Smith’s Carter Sharpe had 457 against Wake Forest-Rolesville in a 2004 4A contest.
His rushing total is No.8 on the all-time list.
Officiating: Britt coach Brian Rimpf didn’t seem very impressed with Hines. Rimpf, who played at Leesville Road, unfortunately took the focus off of the teams and their great efforts and great play to talk about officiating.
Rimpf told Earl Vaughan Jr. of the Fayetteville Observer that Hines was a good player but added Hines was getting an edge “because people were blocking illegally. That’s what’s frustrating.”
Rimpf blasted the officiating crew: “The people on that field that did not have a uniform on affected that game and made key decisions that altered the outcome of the game. We don’t believe it should have ended like that.”
He also said, “Two touchdowns called back and we lose by seven. Not to mention the no-call roughing the kicker, not to mention some pass interference no calls and some of the holding no calls.”
The NCHSAA can levy a $400 fine on coaches for criticizing officials in the media.
Gibbons ending: There was a lot of confusion at the end of Southern Durham’s victory.
Southern Durham had finished the scoring with 52.5 seconds left on a 20-yard pass from Kendall Hinton to Maurice Trowell. Gibbons’ Shawn Stankavage hit Earl Gill with a 34-yard pass to the Southern Durham 13, and the clock was stopped with with 1.9 seconds left to set the chains.
In the YouTube clip (titled: Gibbons vs S. Durham playoff - last play.), the ball is snapped as the official starts the clock. But then, a whistle blows.
All 22 players stop. Southern Durham coaches, extra players and a cameraman come onto the field. Stankavage is holding the ball, turns to the official and then turns back and motions to his receivers. His pass eventually is knocked down.
“All 22 players stopped because of the whistle,” Gibbons coach Steven Wright said. “But it was still a live play.
“It was an unfortunate way for the game to end and I would be saying the same thing if we had caught a touchdown pass on the last play. It is a very tough loss because Southern Durham has such an outstanding team and both teams played so hard. I am really proud of our kids.”