November 18, 2023 at 12:24 a.m.
Bunker Hill, Crest, Hickory, Shelby All Winners
Bunker Hill 24, Monroe 23
This time it was close but the Bears survived and moved onto the 4th round of the 2A playoffs with a 24-23 win over Monroe. The game started as most of the Bunker Hill wins this season have: they drove to the Redhawks' 26-yard line; but on fourth down, instead of relying on the foot of star kicker Alan Bahena-Soto, Bunker Hill tried to keep the drive alive and turned the ball over to Monroe on downs.
The visitors had to punt, but they pinned the Bears to their 6-yd line. From there, Bunker Hill began a 94-yard drive. QB Redek Robinson hit Jaylan Wills with a pass that got them to Monroe's 25. Once again,t hey faced a 4th down at the Redhawks' 16, but this time they made the first down and shortly thereafter, Jason Willis, Jr. ran six yards for the night's first TD. Bahena-Soto kicke the EP for a 7-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
After the Bears kicked off, Kaden Bolick intercepted a Monroe pass and returned it to the Redhawks' 5-yard line. Cole Lineberger ran five yds for another Bunker Hill touchdown and Bahena-Soto kicked the extra point again to make it 14-0.
Midway thru the second period, Monroe scored on an 18-yd run and with the EP cut the lead to 14-7. That remained the score at halftime.
Monroe took the second half kickoff and scored to tie the game at 14-all. When the Bears got the ball again, Jason WIllis,Jr. had a couple of long runs to get his team to the Redhawks' 26, but this time, on fourth down, they let Bahena-Soto kick a 33-yard field goal to go ahead 17-14.
Two minutes later, Monroe answered witha FG of their own to tie the game again.
In the fourth quarter, the Bears drove deep into Monroe territory, but ended up having to punt. Monroe got the ball at their own 5-yd line. The Bears defense stiffened and the Redhawks could only make it to their 11 and had to punt. Jason Willis, Jr. scored on a 42-yd run and the EP kick gave the Bears a 24-17 lead.
Monroe then drove to the Bunker Hill 19 but turned the ball over on downs.
When the Bears had to punt, Monroe got the ball at midfield and drove to the Bunker Hill three. On third and goal, they scored with less than a minute left inthe game.
The Redhawks went for the win with a two-point EP try--but they didn't make it and the Bears won their 13th game of the season without a loss. Next week, Bunker Hill will travel to Reidsville to play the #1 seeded Rams, 31-20 winners Friday night over Brevard.
Shelby 38, Salisbury 21
The game was much like the season for the Golden Lions, who started 2023 with three losses but haven't been beaten since. The Hornets scored first to take a 7-0 lead after the first quarter, but then the Lions roared back. Midway thru the second period, Lan Farmer completed a 20-yd touchdown pass to Eli Falls and the EP kick tied the score. A blocked punt, a missed field goal, and a fumble that ended a Salisbury drive just before halftime left the score at the half 7-all.
Early in the third period, Salisbury scored on a 68-yd run and took a 14-7 lead; but then Farmer threw an 80-yd touchdown pass to Drew Hollifield to tie the score, and the Lions took the lead on another Farmer TD strike to JJ Williams. Jose Lopez' kick made it 21-14.
With just under three minutes left in the third quarter, Lopez kicked a 27-yd field goal to give Shelby a 24-14 lead.
In the fourth, Farmer tossed another TD pass to Hollifield and that 67-yarder plus Lopez' EP kick made it 31-14.
Tristan Tate scored on a 35-yd run to give the Lions a 38-14 advantage after Lopez kicked another EP.
Salisbury managed antoher score, but the outcome was already apparent as the Golden Lions improved to 10-3. Next week, they host Forest Hills, 45-21 winners over Community School of Davidson.
Like Bunker Hill, Crest & Hickory are now 13-0 after wins Friday night.
Crest 30, West Charlotte 29 (OT)
The Chargers trailed 22-6 at the end of the third period after a 3-yd run by Ny'tavous Huskey was their only score in the first half. They missed the extra point. But the team that came back from a 21-point first half deficit against South Point and trailed in several games before their potent offense caught fire wasn't going to lose.
Huskey began the final period with a 60-yd pass to AJ Adams, then ran for a two-point conversion to cut the margin to 22-14.
With just over four minutes left in the game, Huskey's 30-yd TD pass to Aiden Carson made it 22-20; then Javarius Green hit Adams with a pass for another two-point conversion to tie the score.
Regulation ended in a 22-all tie, so the Lions and Chargers played an overtime.
West Charlotte went first and scored a touchdown and extra point to lead 29-22.
Then it was the Chargers' turn and Huskey threw a 6-yd TD pass to Green. That meant the EP try would potentially decide the game, and once again, Huskey threw to Adams for a two-point conversion and the win, 30-29. Next week, Crest will host Greensboro Dudley, The Panthers are also 13-0 after handing Concord Robinson their first loss of the season 50-28 Friday.
Hickory 61, A.C.Reynolds 38
The Red Tornadoes spotted A.C. Reynolds a 7-0 first quarter lead; then Brady Stober threw a 32-yd TD pass to Deshawn Medley. Hickory failed to make a two-point conversion and trailed 7-6 af the end of the first quarter; but early in the second, a 52-ye pass to Jamien Little gave the Red Tornadoes a lead they wouldn't relinquish. Medley ran for two extra points and it was 14-7.
Midway thru the second quarter, Reynolds scored to tie the game at 14-all, but Isaiah Lackey then ran four yards and the EP kick put Hickory ahead 21-14.
A Reynolds field goal cut that to 21-17, but Lackey ran for another score just before halftime for a 27-17 advantage.
In the third quarter, Stober threw a 68-yarder to Ellis Chappell; the EP kick was missed again and it was 33-17. A 7-yd TD pass from Stober to Little made it 39-17 and a two-point EP run by Lackey gave Hickory a 41-17 lead. Little ran 10 yards for another score and Hickory led 47-17.
Then Reynolds completed a long pass for a touchdown to cut the margin to 47-23.
With eight minutes left, Stober threw another touchdown pass to Chappell and it was 53-23. Reynolds scored on another long pass and a two-point conversion left Hickory ahead 53-31; but with just a minute left in the game, Tyler Johnson ran for another Red Tornadoes score and a Turner Wood pass to Little made the score Hickory 61, A.C. Reynolds 31.
It didn't make any difference in the outcome, but Reynolds got another touchdown with less than a minute left and the final was 61-38.
Next week, Hickory will visit West Henderson. The Falcons, also unbeaten, downed Oak Grove Friday night 45-24.