New Bern had the ball and what the Bears thought was the momentum in the final minutes at Caruso-Coates Stadium on Friday night, but they coughed up a fumble, and that allowed Hillside run out the clock on a 29-27 victory on the Bears’ home turf.
After two losses to New Bern last season – 12-0 in the 2014 season-opener and then 13-7 in the 4A state playoffs – the Hornets got a little payback by giving New Bern its first loss in Caruso-Coates since they upset the Bears 27-24 in 2013’s first game.
New Bern’s Tyric McCarter picked off a pass and returned it 62 yards to Hillside’s 33-yard line, but the Bears turned the ball over on downs with 6:10 remaining.
The Bears led 14-3 after Mallard chucked up a 29-yard score to Raheem Lovick early in the second quarter. Mallard’s 1-yard plunge in the fourth got the Bears within a field goal with 11:11 left on the clock, seemingly enough time for a rally.
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Hillside gave the Bears one more shot after the Bears stuffed its fourth-and-2 rush attempt. Two plays later, New Bern quarterback Taron Mallard fumbled at midfield on a disputed play. The Bears claimed his knee was on the ground before the fumble.
New Bern were ahead 20-16 at halftime, but Hillside’s Abdul Adams gave the Hornets their first lead of the game with his 33-yard touchdown run just 3:38 into the third quarter.
Hillside’s Jamal Elliott rushed for scores of 2, 38 and 7 yards – his third TD giving Hillside a 29-20 margin despite a missed PAT kick.
Hillside’s first points came on a 24-yard field goal by Amir Jones.
Ray’shi Bolds scored a pair of rushing touchdowns New Bern; his first, a 2-yarder, opened the game’s scoring, and his second came on an 11-yard run that gave New Bern a 20-10 lead.
New Bern (1-0) plays host to Havelock next Friday.
In other games ...
Fayetteville E.E. Smith edged Southern 22-21; Fayetteville 71st got 251 yards rushing and five touchdowns from Paul Underwood as the Falcons ran past Northern, 55-21; Riverside won 24-7 at Chapel Hill; Raleigh Leesville Road rolled at Jordan, 34-6; and Kestrel Heights flew past Grace Crossing by a score more fitting for prep basketball, 68-46.
It’s “old friends” week for some schools. Southern Durham plays Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons in a matchup against its former Big 8 rival; and Northern will be at 3A Orange to face an old rival from the Knights’ days as a power in the old “Black and Blue” District III conference. Riverside will be at Pinecrest, and Jordan with host another Wake County school when it plays Green Hope.
Kestrel Heights plans to play Southwest Wake Home School of Apex in a game at Bethesda School.
Hillside has Friday night off as the Hornets prepare to face Southern on Sept. 4 in the Bull City Classic at N.C. Central’s O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium.
Durham Hillside 29, New Bern 27
Hillside 3 13 13 0 - 29
New Bern 7 13 0 7 - 27
NB – Ray’shi Bolds 2 run (Juan Martinez kick), 5:53
H – Ameer 24 field goal, 23.8
NB – Taron Mallard 29 pass to Raheem Lovick (Martinez kick), 10:25
H – Jamal Elliott 2 run (Jones kick), 5:49
NB – Bolds 11 run (conversion failed), 2:43
H – Elliott 38 run (kick missed), 1:44
H – Abdul Adams 33 run (Ameer kick), 8:22
H – Elliott 7 run (kick missed), 4:53
NB – Mallard 1 run (Martinez kick), 11:11
Passing – Hillside: Chauncey Caldwell 7-15-1 51; New Bern: Taron Mallard 5-7-0 90.
Rushing – Hillside: Jamal Currie-Elliott 16-125, Abdul Adams 20-111, Caldwell 10-9, Marcus Krah 1 (-4). New Bern: Taron Mallard 17-100, Ray’shi Bolds 8-39, Howard 11-37, Tyjeer Hicks 1-2, Dee Becton 1 (-7).
Receiving – Hillside: Daeshawn Stephens 2-22, Adams 3-22, Krah 1-7, Donte Edwards 1-0; New Bern: McCarter 1-42, Raheem Lovick 1-29, Hicks 1-9, Jmari Hawkins 1-8, Bolds 1-2.