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Paylor propels Cummings past Southeast for piece of regular-season title

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By Bob Sutton

Special to The Alamance News

Jonathan Paylor scored seven touchdowns in Cummings’ 47-14 decision against host Southeast Alamance with a share of first place at stake in Mid-Carolina Conference football Friday night.

The Cavaliers scored the game’s final 27 points.

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“We got it going,” Cummings coach David Grimm said. “Paylor, of course, is going to do his thing and be great.” Paylor, one of the state’s top football recruits, announced earlier this fall his decision to play college ball at N.C. State.

Cummings (8-2 overall, 7-1 Mid-Carolina Conference) shares first place with North Moore, which beat the Cavaliers four nights earlier.

“I was real proud the way they responded,” Grimm said. “The guys just came in focused.”

The latest outcome means Cummings will be the highest seed from the conference for the Class 2-A bracket of the state playoffs. North Moore (8-2, 7-1), which beat winless Chatham Central 42-8 on Friday night, is in Class 1-A.

Southeast (6-4, 6-2) had a five-game winning streak end.

“They took control on big plays,” Southeast coach Tony Aguilar said. “The big-played us.”

Paylor scored on five rushing plays, on one reception and an interception return. The first of Paylor’s two interceptions led to the game’s first points.

Cummings Running Back Jonathan Paylor, pictured from 2022 game.

He scored on a 26-yard run before adding 5- and 34-yard runs in the second quarter. The last of those came with 27 seconds left in the first half to push Cummings’ half-time lead to 20-7.

Southeast scored the first touchdown of the second half. Ryan Dodson’s 32-yard touchdown pass to Jerry Sims got the Stallions within 20-14 in the third quarter.

Jerry Sims
Ryan Dodson

Southeast stayed within range.

“Before (Paylor) took over,” Aguilar said. “I just feel like a couple of times we didn’t wrap him up. He’s special.”

Paylor scored on a 48-yard pass play from quarterback Devin Witherspoon, taking a curl pass and turning it into points. He had a 65-yard run, a 68-yard interception return, and a 30-yard run. He also kicked an extra point.

It was his second game of the season with seven touchdowns.

Grimm said Witherspoon helped keep the offense on track.

“He made some throws,” he said. “Real proud of the poise he was showing.”

Southeast’s first points came on Dodson’s 5-yard throw to Aiden Pak.

Cummings defense came up with enough big plays to prevent the Stallions from regaining much momentum. Hezekiah Pinnix pulled in an interception.

 

Jordan-Matthews 22, Graham 12: At Graham, the host Red Devils finished the season on a four-game losing streak.

Graham (1-9, 1-7) went up 12-0 early in the fourth quarter before the Jets (2-8, 2-6) scored all their points. The Red Devils ended up eighth in the nine-team Mid-Carolina Conference.

 

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