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Southeast Stallions stun Cummings, avenge recent loss, and move on to third round playoff game

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By Bob Sutton

Special to The Alamance News

Already racking up accomplishments for a first-year school, Southeast Alamance’s inaugural football season became a lot more special Friday night.

The Stallions scored a tie-breaking touchdown with 1:04 left to stun host Cummings 21-14 in the second round of the Class 2-A state playoffs.

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“It was just us stepping up and making plays,” receiver/defensive back Tyron Squires said.

Tyron Squires

It marked the end of the spectacular high school career of Cummings multi-purpose back Jonathan Paylor.

No. 24 seed Southeast (8-4), which never led until scoring the last touchdown, goes to top-seeded Clinton (12-0), a 56-15 winner against Beddingfield, for the third round next week.

Friday night’s outcome in Burlington avenged a 47-14 Cummings road victory from two weeks earlier in a result that gave the Cavaliers a share of the Mid-Carolina Conference championship and left the Stallions in third place.

“We learned so much from that loss,” Aguilar said. “We decided we needed to be more sound (defensively) in the box.”

Southeast head football coach Tony Aguilar

The Stallions adjusted and executed.

“We just fixed all those mistakes from last time,” quarterback Ryan Dodson said. “We all knew what we did wrong the first time,” he added.

Ryan Dodson

Running back Daniel Bunker scored on two touchdown runs for Southeast.

Cummings (9-3) was held to a season-low point total. Paylor scored seven touchdowns in the first meeting with Southeast, but he was limited in this game, wearing a brace on his left shoulder.


His remarkable high school career is over, but bright college future awaits Cummings’ Jonathan Paylor at N.C. State: https://alamancenews.com/breaking-fri-night-cummings-jonathan-paylor-makes-decision-on-college-football-choice/


Aguilar refused to be discouraged after the regular-season meeting. Defensive coordinator Mook Reynolds found solutions.

“I told our defensive staff we’re going to see them down the road, or even if it was next year,” Aguilar said. “They came up with a great game plan, and I think our defense trusted it and believed in it. And held them to 14 points, which is crazy.”

The winning drive chewed up about seven minutes. Dodson scored on a 2-yard run up the middle.

Then Squires wrapped up the outcome with an interception near midfield.

“It felt good to seal the game, get the win, and make it to the next round,” Squires said.

The Stallions didn’t mind a limited number of possessions.

“We said we were going to pick our tempos,” Aguilar said. “Not just play super, super fast and then punt. That’s what we did the first time we played them. You learn.”

The patience meant a heavy workload for running backs Bunker and Jerry Sims.

“They force you to run the ball,” Dodson said.

Cummings led 14-7 at halftime, but by then Southeast’s defense started becoming dialed in.

“The way our defense came out the second half,” Aguilar said of helping set the foundation.

Dodson, also playing defensive end, made the play on one of the fourth-down stops.

“When we came back from halftime, I knew everybody was locked in,” Squires said. “We were only down by one touchdown.”

Bunker had the Stallions’ first points on a 3-yard run. In the third quarter, Bunker ran 35 yards around the left side, sprung by Squires’ block, for the second Southeast touchdown.

Both teams missed on attempted field goals. Cummings scored the final 27 points of the game two weeks earlier.

The Cavaliers’ three defeats this season came by a total of 11 points.

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