In a matchup that used to be a Big 8 Conference game, Southern Durham and Cardinal Gibbons met in nonconference action Friday night for the first time since the Crusaders moved up to the bigger PAC-6 4A Conference.
But it was the Spartans who came away with the win in a hard-fought 36-31 come-from-behind victory. Southern outscored Cardinal Gibbons 22-7 in the second half to set up next week’s showdown with neighbor rival Hillside on North Carolina Central’s campus.
With Southern leading 28-24 with 10 minutes left in the third quarter, punt returner Albert Teet ran back a punt 40 yards to the Crusaders 5, setting up another Spartans score to expand the lead to 12, which they never relinquished.
They said it
“We knew we couldn’t turn on each other (in the first half). We had to come together in the second half, and we ended up with the win,” Southern senior running back Jordan Brown said.
Three who mattered
North Carolina recruit Brown rushed for 230 yards and four touchdowns, including 118 yards in the first half.
Cardinal Gibbons linebacker Trevor Kirsch picked up a fumble at the Southern 7 and raced in to give the Crusaders a 15-14 lead in the second quarter.
After giving up 24 points in the first half, the Spartans’ defense held the Crusaders scoreless in the third period and a TD in the fourth.
By the numbers
• 17: Unanswered points by the Crusaders in the second quarter.
• 22: Straight points by Southern in the second half
• 118: First-half yards by Brown
• 4: TDs by Brown, including three in the second half