Orange’s Bryse Wilson stopped a 2-point conversion run with 8 seconds left to preserve the Panthers’ 21-20 win over Lee County in a 3AA playoff game.
Lee County had scored on a fourth-and-goal situation on quarterback Emond Caldwell’s 3-yard run to set up the game-deciding play. The Yellow Jackets lined up as if they were to attempt the PAT but instead faked to Will Shoop in the backfield. Wilson broke through the line to make the tackle.
Wilson also contributed with a 24-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead and an interception in the second quarter. Orange quarterback Garrett Cloer only completed 2 of 9 passes but his other completion was a 61-yard TD pass to Josh Kiehle for a 14-7 lead at halftime.
Lee County running back Jerry Pullum led the Yellow Jackets with 27 carries for 176 yards and two touchdowns.
Orange improved to 11-1, while Lee County finished 9-3.
Millbrook 43, Fayetteville Britt 35: Marcus Marshall rushed for 338 yards and five touchdowns to carry Millbrook into the second round of the playoffs, with a 43-35 win over Fayetteville Britt. The Wildcats travel to Richmond County next week.
The Wildcats needed fourth quarter interceptions by Elijah Coley and Raul Oquendo to decide the otherwise offensive showcase. Millbrook trailed three times in the final period, but Marshall put the Wildcats back on top with scoring runs of 8, 30, and 63 yards. He then added an 80-yarder for the final margin. Coley had his interception to set up the 80-yarder and Oquendo’s interception with 16.8 seconds left near the endzone clinched the win.
Nick Viola hit three clutch first half field goals,of 35, 34, and 24 yards.
Richmond 53, Fuquay-Varina 7: Richmond (11-1) looked like one of the best teams in the state as it ended Fuquay’s 5-7 season.
New Bern 50, Clayton 14: New Bern, the state’s No. 1-ranked 4A team, held Clayton to a net loss of 10 offensive yards in the first half and rolled to a 50-14 victory in the 4A playoffs Friday night. It was the Bears’ 16th consecutive playoff victory at Caruso-Coates Stadium.
Five New Bern players ran for 40 or more yards on the night, but none more than 65.
“We didn’t feel like our offensive line played their best last week (a 33-13 win over Greenville Rose),” said New Bern coach Bobby Curlings. “So we really challenged them this week. We tried to light a fire with them and it took.”
Clayton senior quarterback Eric Hoy ran for a TD and threw for another in the fourth quarter.
Hillside 42, Fayetteville Smith 28: The Hornets (8-4) jumped out quickly as Ricquaz Brannon capped an 80-yard opening drive with a 2-yard run. Hillside scored two more times, racing out to a 21-0 lead after the first quarter. Brannon had two rushing touchdowns, and Gerald Wilkes Jr had a 31-yard interception score to end the first.
Durham Hillside will face undefeated Seventy-First next week after the Falcons took down Riverside.
Fayetteville Seventy-First 28, Durham Riverside 0: Seventy-First (12-0), which allows 9.2 point per game, shut out the 4-8 Pirates.
Fayetteville Cape Fear 35, Northern Durham 14: Northern Durham (4-8) kept it close for most of the game before falling.
Cleveland 69, Gray’s Creek 49: Aaron Farmer threw for 466 yards and four touchdowns to lead Cleveland past Hope Mill’s Creek.The Rams’ Corey Brown added 137 yards and three scores to help Cleveland outduel the Bear’s vaunted rushing attack.
Calvin Boyd, Leyland McDonald and T.J, McMillan each rushed for over 100 yards each as the Bears amassed 451 yards on the ground.
Chapel Hill 42, West Brunswick 12: The Tigers intercepted three passes, forced six turnovers and pulled away in the second half. The Tigers (9-3) will play at No. 4 Terry Sanford next Friday.
Connor Stough completed 19 of 26 passes for 248 yards.
Corinth Holder 29, Cameron Union Pines 13): Cole Sakowski threw for 230 yards and three touchdowns in the first half as Corinth Holders (9-3) took a 20-13 halftime lead. The Pirates then turned to the running of Howard Watson, 130 yards including 105 in the second half.
Northern Guilford 56, Northwood 26: Northern Guilford (11-1) overwhelmed the Big Eight 3A Chargers (9-3).
West Craven 31, South Johnston 29: South Johnston (5-7) made a torrid comeback, but West Craven (5-7) stopped a two-point conversion attempt with less 57.2 seconds to take the win. South had trailed 31-7 at the half.
Southern Lee 14, West Carteret 9: Southern Lee scored on a long touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to take the win.
Eight-man championship: Rocky Mount Academy 33, Kinston Parrott 20
Division I championship: Charlotte Christian 28, Charlotte Latin 21
Division II semifinals: Davidson Day, Harrells (9-1); Southlake Christian 47, Arden Christ 7
Division III: Charlotte Victory Christian 62, Wake Christian 0.