Lee County 21, Green Hope 19
APEX — Finally.
After eight straight defeats, Lee County earned its first Tri-8 Conference win of the season with a thrilling 21-19 victory over winless Green Hope on Friday night.
The Yellow Jackets (2-8, 1-6) were led by the powerful running duo of fullbacks in senior Darius Britton and sophomore Cedric Gray.
Gray led the team with 150 yards on 24 carries and a 4-yard touchdown run with 8:24 remaining in the second quarter. His score and Patrick Hamel’s extra point put the Yellow Jackets ahead 7-0.
Britton had 13 carries for 55 yards and a 1-yard score that propelled the Jackets to a 14-0 lead at the half.
As they have done in the previous three games, the Yellow Jackets gave up a score on the Falcons’ first drive of the third quarter as Kameron Bryant found Matt Burke for a 12-yard touchdown strike. The extra-point failed and the Jackets led 14-6.
However, as they have not done in the previous three games, the Yellow Jackets avoided another meltdown and regained the momentum with a quick score of their own. Carson Wilson found Chris Thompson for a 7-yard strike as the Yellow Jackets moved ahead 21-6.
Harnett Central 25, Southern Lee 15
SANFORD — Fourth-and-9.
Up by only six points. In the fourth quarter.
The ninth-ranked team in the state, still unbeaten, still playing for a conference championship, deciding to possibly put the game on the line near midfield.
By going for it.
As if they, not the one-win Southern Lee Cavaliers, had nothing to lose.
But with the state’s biggest upset potentially hanging in the balance, Harnett Central quarterback Tate Wheelin dropped back and delivered a strike to a streaking Brian Baker for a 20-yard gain and the first down.
Five plays later, Darius McKoy plunged into the end zone from 4 yards out to give the Trojans a 27-15 lead, which proved to be enough to down Southern Lee on Friday night.
“We had a chance in the fourth quarter,” said Southern Lee coach Bill Maczko. “That’s been the story all year. We had a chance to win the ballgame in the fourth quarter but couldn’t find a way to do it.”
Northwood 25, Cedar Ridge 14
HILLSBOROUGH — Demetrius Thompson rushed for two touchdowns as Northwood came from behind to clip Cedar Ridge 25-14 on Friday night.
The Chargers (8-2, 4-1), seeking to snare at least a share of their third straight Mid-State Conference championship, fell behind 14-12 at the half.
But Tra Chandler, who returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, had an interception and a fumble recovery while Makalyn Simmons had two fumble recoveries to help Northwood to the victory.
Overhills 14, Western Harnett 7
SPRING LAKE — The Overhills Jaguars are now playoff-eligible with their fourth win of the season as they defeated the Western Harnett Eagles 14-7 Friday night.
The teams traded scores in the first quarter, as Western Harnett’s Jared Bohn’s 59 yard TD strike to Shawn McLean was answered by an 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Overhills’ Karl Clemens.
It was a defensive struggle most of the night, as Overhills (4-6, 3-3) managed only 145 yards of offense and Western Harnett (3-7, 3-3) recorded 244, 174 from the arm of Jared Bohn.
But in the fourth quarter, Overhills quarterback Devonte Jefferson scored on a 1-yard run to put the Jaguars ahead for good.