Walker Brittain CFNN Football Reporter

CAPE FEAR HIGH SCHOOL-The Cape Fear Colts football team played a hard-fought game on Friday night against the Seventy-First Falcons, but came up short with a 28-27 loss in their home opener.

The last time the Colts started the season at 0-1 was 2013, but the Colts are not letting this get them down.

“It’s not a big deal for us,” Coach Jake Thomas said on the field after the game. “We understand that this does not make or break our season. It’s non-conference. We are going to take this game, watch the film on Monday, fix the mistakes and move on to Lumberton for next week.” 

The contest was close throughout with this being the Colts first outing after the cancelation of the game against Clinton High School on August 23..

With 7 minutes left in the fourth quarter, 71st took advantage of an interception thrown by Colts Sophomore QB Ki’mani Britton, who ended the game with an efficient 5 of 8 for 81 yards and 2 touchdowns. 

71st got the ball on the Colts 45 yard line and managed to put a drive together to take a 28-21 lead.  The only prior lead for the Falcons was early in the first quarter.

The Colts immediately answered with a drive of their own with Britton finding Senior Taiquan Gamble for a 13 yard touchdown connection with 2:36 left in the game.

Next, Cape Fear made the decision to try and take the lead but came up short on the 2-point conversion. 

After the game, Coach Thomas recognized Mark Burks as Cape Fear’s player of the game.

“We know that Mark is going to be tough and give his all,” Coach Thomas said, praising the Senior’s mentality. “He’s a kid that wants to play every play.”

Prior to the game, Coach Thomas mentioned Burks as someone who would need to step up this season in order to replace the production and leadership lost by the graduation of linebackers Jaylen Hudson and Austin Hunt.

Burks is not only helping to fill the void on the defensive end but also offensively with a rushing touchdown in the 3rd quarter, filling the void left by Zaire Boykin and J’velus Peterson from last year’s Colt squad. 

The Cape Fear Colts football program has experienced much since 2013.

The Colts have never had a losing season, and have been to the state playoffs every year, playing in the State Championship game in 2016.

Before Coach Thomas came along, no one thought the kind of success experienced by the Colts was possible. The current Colt Seniors have won 32 games and never experienced a losing season.

The 2019 season continues on the against the Lumberton Pirates. The game has been moved back to Monday, September 9th due to Hurricane Dorian.