Ryan Callahan did a little bit of everything in Panther Creek’s 24-21 first-round football playoff win against Holly Springs.
Callahan, a senior linebacker, ran 19 yards on a fake punt, caught a touchdown pass, made 10 tackles, had one sack, blocked a field goal attempt, returned a punt 39 yards and intercepted a pass.
His biggest play, though, probably was making the first hit on a fourth-and-goal situation situation in overtime. The stop gave the Catamounts the victory and earned them a second-round game at Green Hope.
“Ryan was outstanding,” said Panther Creek coach Sean Crocker.
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Crocker said Green Hope has a lot of momentum.
The Falcons have won five straight since losing to Middle Creek, 44-7. Included among the victories was a 17-10 win against Panther Creek two weeks ago.
“For the second round, we need to play as close to error-free football as possible,” Crocker said. “It will be a real test for our kids to overcome the momentum that Green Hope has right now.”
Versatility: East Wake’s Damontay Rhem sparkled on offense and defense in the Warriors’ 48-14 win against West Johnston.
Rhem led East Wake with 13 tackles and two sacks. He also rushed for 160 yards.
East Wake coach John Poulnott said the kicking game is going to be a key for his club (10-2) at Scotland (11-1) in the second round.
“Our punt game must be much improved if we’re going to give our defense a fighting chance versus the Scots,” Poulnott said.
Scotland’s only loss was 34-28 to Southern Durham. The Scots, who reached the 4A finals in 2013, have beaten Southern Pines Pinecrest 29-22 and Richmond County 34-13.
Richmond (11-1) is at home against Millbrook this week, while Pinecrest (10-2 with a loss to Richmond) plays at Wake Forest.
Preparation: Orange junior linebacker Bryse Wilson stopped a two-point conversion run with eight seconds left to help preserve a 21-20 win against Lee County in 3AA. Wilson said he picked up a key in watching film.
Lee County lined up as if it was going to attempt a PAT kick but instead faked it.
“We had seen that muddle huddle on film,” Wilson said. “I knew they were going to pitch it to him. I was able to shoot through the gap (untouched).”
The other Marshall: Millbrook runner Marcus Marshall is not longer “the other Marshall.” The senior runner isn’t as nationally known as his older brother Keith was in 2010, but he is an exceptional runner. Keith was ranked as the top running back in the country and signed with Georgia.
“Marcus has been a tough, physical runner for us all season,” said Millbrook coach Clarence Inscore “He’s not easy to tackle, and he’s got that burst of speed. If he’s not one of the best backs in the state, I don’t know who is. He’s something special, and he kind of put us on his shoulders tonight.”
Marshall set the school record with 350 yards rushing, including 222 yards on seven carries in the final 12 minutes of game, as the Wildcats advanced with a 43-35 win over Fayetteville Britt. He was most effective late in the game.
He dashed 63 and 80 yards for touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
The Wildcats also got key final period interceptions from Elijah Coley and Raul Oquendo to stop Britt drives.
Millbrook travels to Richmond County in the second round.
Kick defense: Garner scored three touchdowns on blocked punts and the defense added another pair of scores in a 45-6 win over Wilmington Laney. The Trojans ran only 10 offensive plays in the first half, just one in the second period, as they built a 38-0 halftime lead.
Another challenge: Undefeated Wake Forest, bidding for its third title appearance in the last five years, got the top seed in the 4AA East but faces an unusually tough second round assignment this week against Pinecrest. If the Cougars win, they’d go against either Millbrook or Richmond County in the third round.
The bottom half of the 4AA East has become a Wake County bracket with Wakefield playing at Garner and Panther Creek going to Green Hope. In their last meetings, Garner beat Wakefield 76-34 in the second round of the 2012 playoffs.
8-man title: Veteran coach B.W. Holt led Rocky Mount Academy to a 12-0 season and the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association eight-man championship with a 33-20 victory over Kinston Parrott.
Jacob Hunter rushed for 198 yards and three touchdowns. Kyle Holland had 12 tackles and an interception for the champs.
Riddle honored: Former Athens Drive High linebacker Daniel Riddle is one of 24 players on the Jerry Rice watch list as candidates for national freshman of the year on the Football Championship Subdivision level.
Riddle, a Western Carolina redshirt freshman linebacker, had 18 tackles in a week three victory over Catawba and had 11 tackles in a victory over Wofford.
He is averaging 6.2 tackles per game.