Fortune favors the bold.
On a night where Southern Durham was held to a season-low in points, the Spartans used daring playcalls and trick plays to find yet another way to break Orange’s heart again.
On a second-and-22, Spartans running back Jordon Brown threw to Kaleb Barfield for a 37-yard double pass touchdown as Southern defeated Orange 17-14 in the second round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3AA playoffs. It was the North Carolina recruit’s third pass of the season.
“We knew they were trying to take Jordon Brown away,” said Southern coach Darius Robinson. We put in plays like that during the summer. We always tell our kids to look out for trick plays, but tonight we had to do it.”
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The trickery came after Orange scored two touchdowns in a span of 3:57 in the fourth quarter to take a 14-10 lead. After Bryse Wilson put Orange (11-2) on the board with a seven-yard score with 6:53 remaining to narrow the Southern (10-3) lead to 10-7, Drew Lemaster dashed 37 yards down the left sideline to give Orange a 14-10.
“It doesn’t get much painful than that,” said Orange coach Pat Moser, whose Panthers have lost five times in the last three years to Southern. “We had chances to win the game. But we fumbled too much down the stretch.”
Brown was held to a season-low 54 yards. Green was just 7 of 21 for 123 yards.
Wilson closed out his high school career with 228 yards. He and Lemaster were the only players who carried the ball for Orange in the first half.
The old axiom that games are decided on whoever makes the biggest mistakes was proven true.
On the second drive of the game, the Panthers drove to the Spartans 1-yard line after a 27-yard run by Wilson. On 3rd-and-goal, quarterback Jackson Schmid fumble the center exchange, which Southern’s Maliki Rouse recovered. It was the first of two red zone chances where Orange came away empty, and both were expensive.
Southern led 3-0 at the half. The only points came from a 22-yard field goal by Luis Vidal.
On the opening drive of the second half, Orange drove to the Southern 16-yard line, but Lemaster fumbled the ball, which the Panthers recovered for a nine-yard loss. Freshman kicker Francisco McKinley pushed a 42-yard field goal wide left.
In the fourth quarter, Southern running back Myron Frazier took a fake punt from his own 28 and ran 14 yards. That led to quarterback Jalen Green scoring on a 8 yard run wiith 6:53 to put Southern ahead 10-0.