– Southern Durham fought back in the closing seconds to defeat rival Durham Hillside 16-13 Friday night before a near sellout crowd on NC. Central’s campus.
Trailing 13-9 with 3:02 left, Wake Forest recruit Kendall Hinton led the Spartans on an 11-play 75-yard winning drive. Hinton hit running back Jordan Brown who broke a couple of tackles to rumble in the end zone from 8 yards out with 25.6 seconds left.
But the Hornets made it exciting to the very end. After getting the ball at their 39, running back Marcus Krah caught a screen pass from QB Nas Forte-Ferguson and got as far as the Southern 9 before getting tackled with no time remaining.
“It just feels great to get this win,” Brown said. “They’ve always been a notch above us and to score the winning touchdown feels good.”
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O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium has been special for the Spartans in the series. Four years ago, running back Desmond Lawrence scored the winning TD in the final minute to defeat the Hornets in the same arena.
“It was heart breaking to see them (Hillside) come back, but we prepared them throughout the season for something like this and they responded,” Southern coach Darius Robinson said.
After going six straight quarters without a score, dating back to last week’s 12-0 shutout to New Bern, Hillside found some offense when it needed most.
Freshman running back Jamal Currie-Elliot gave the Hornets a spark in the second half and a stifling Hornets defense held Southern and its high-flying offense in check.
Hillside finally got on the scoreboard in third quarter. A short punt by Southern put the Hornets at the Spartans 47. Three plays later Currie-Elliot was in the end zone with 5:49 left in the quarter to make it 9-7.
With the Hornets’ defense controlling the tempo, Hillside took its first lead on a six-play 54-yard drive that culminated in Forte-Ferguson’s 1-yard plunge. A missed 2-point attempt gave Hillside a 13-9 lead.
The Spartans cracked the scoreboard on their second possession of the game.
Hinton drove the Hornets 51 yards in seven plays and was involved on every possession, including a 19-yard scamper with 2:27 left in the first quarter. A muffled point-after attempt left the score 6-0.
Place-kicker Leonardo Orozco made it 9-0 with a 34-yard field goal just before the half.
The Spartans defense was stodgy, limiting the Hornets to 78 total first-half yards and a sack.
Hillside caught Hinton three times behind the line of scrimmage, but the Wake Forest recruit still managed 160 passing yards.
Southern’s halftime shutout gave it six straight shutout quarters going back to last week’s 41-0 win over Capitol Christian Academy.