Eastern repeats regular-season win against intracounty rival Williams
By Bob Sutton
Special to The Alamance News
Josh Murray scored on a 3-yard run to cap overtime and Eastern Alamance, which trailed by 21 points, completed a rally for a 27-24 victory against rival Williams in the second round of the Class 3-A state playoffs Thursday night in Mebane.
“The way we got down and the way we came back, it says there’s no quit. It ranks right up there (among best wins in my career).” – Eastern Alamance coach John Kirby
“The way we got down and the way we came back, it says there’s no quit,” Eastern coach John Kirby said. “It ranks right up there (among best wins in my career).”
The Eagles (11-1), who are the No. 2 seed in the East Region, won in a similar manner in a regular-season meeting on the same field – at the same end zone.
This time, Grant Spoon of Williams kicked a go-ahead, 21-yard field goal on the Bulldogs’ overtime possession. Just like the first meeting, the Eagles won with a touchdown run by Murray.
At the end of regulation, Eastern’s Gabe Ocampo blocked a potential winning field goal for Williams.
Eastern will play home next week against seventh-seeded Fayetteville Sanford (10-2), a 59-55 winner against Scotland.
Williams (8-4) led 21-0 late in the second quarter.
The Eagles began their comeback right away when a Jason Ball pass to Antoine Pugh turned into a 71-yard touchdown. Ball and Pugh did it again, this time for 40 yards as the Eagles made it 21-14 before halftime.
“When you get down like that, someone has to give you a spark and I feel like Antoine and Jason really did that,” Kirby said. “That kind of gave us life.”
Following a Williams punt from its end zone, the Eagles took advantage of good field position. Tyrek Samuel’s 11-yard run and Karsyn Johnson’s extra-point kick made it 21-21 with 9:58 remaining.
Kylei Richmond scored on a 1-yard touchdown for the game’s first touchdown. Jaelan Brown’s 15-yard pass play to Dan Mahan allowed the Bulldogs to stretch the lead.
After Eastern botched a play from punt formation with a wayward snap, Brown’s 1-yard toss to Cam’Ron Jones allowed the Bulldogs to go up 21-0.
After that, Eastern’s defense dug in. Javontae Poteat, Payton Wright and Cole McGinnis all came up clutch.
“A lot of little lifts,” Kirby said. “It takes that in a game like this.”
The game was moved up one night because of weather-related concerns, but it was played in some rain anyway.
Southern Alamance 38, New Hanover 32, OT: In Class 4-A at Wilmington, the 13th-seeded Patriots scored the only points of overtime on Logan Foust’s 2-yard run for the road upset in the second round.
It was one of three touchdowns for Foust. Stanley Eno and Jackson Parrish also had scoring plays for the Patriots in regulation.
Southern (9-3) will visit No. 12 seed Millbrook (11-1) next week.
In overtime, Southern’s defense forced a turnover on downs before the Patriots got the ball for the winning possession. The outcome ended fourth-seeded New Hanover’s 10-game winning streak.
Foust and Eno scored the game’s first two touchdowns on the way to a 16-0 lead.
Parrish broke a 24-24 tie with a 27-yard touchdown run on third down with 49 seconds left. New Hanover (10-2) tied the score with a touchdown and two-point conversion with 25 seconds to play.
Cummings 42, Midway 7: In Class 2-A, the host Cavaliers rolled in the second-round game, breaking out to a 28-0 lead in the first quarter.
Eighth-seeded Cummings (8-3) will take a four-game winning streak to Princeton (11-1), the top-seeded team in the East Region, next week.
Midway finished 7-5.