CFNN Reporter Kamari Faison
Losing is tough, but it’s all about how you bounce back from it.
On Thursday, September 23, the JV Colts faced South View in a COVID fill-in game for the first time in the 2021 season. They fell just short, falling 16-22. Just 6 points shy of sweet success. It was tough to accept.
But the Colts got a photo opportunity. They got a shot at redemption. They didn’t want to end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard. They got the unusual opportunity to even the score with the Tigers. A late season United 8 Conference rematch with the same Tigers.
The boys knew they had to win the rematch in order to have a chance at their winning season.
On Thursday, October 22, Round 2 of the battle was here. The young Colts started off impressively, taking the opening drive in for a score from Garrit Snyder. A successful two point conversion put the Colts up 8-0. This was possibly one of the best Colt drives of the season, an 11 play, six minute affair that set the tone for the entire night.
The ensuing Tiger drive saw promise, but ended in a turnover on downs at the Colt 27 yard line. Both teams traded punts for the next two possessions. The Tigers got the ball before half and drove down and scored with a two point conversion, bumping the score to 8-8 going into the half.
Coming out of half the Tigers got the ball, giving them a chance to take the lead, and they did just that, driving down the field and then punching it in. This put the Colts in a hole, down 8-16.
The Colts could not manage a score on their next possession, turning it over on downs at the Southview 39 yard line. The Tigers prowled down the field to the Colt 18 and knocked on the end zone door. The Colt Defense, however, answered the bell and came up with a huge stop, getting a turnover on downs.
“We had some big plays by the interior D-line when we needed them,” said Head Coach Derrick Johnson. “We made some adjustments at halftime to stop the option and the guys did a great job.”
This gave the ball back to the Colt offense, allowing them to flip the script and go down the field for a score. Unfortunately, the two point conversion was no good, keeping Cape Fear down 14-16 late in the third quarter.
After multiple punts by both teams and TWO fake punt attempts by Southview, the Tigers got the ball with around 6 minutes on the clock. The rapidly maturing Colt defense had to make a stand. They did. The defense was absolutely tenacious, coming up with multiple sacks, quarterback pressures and crushing stops against the run. The response from the defense resulted in a turnover on downs. This gave the offense the ball and a chance to win the game at their own 30 with just over 3 minutes to play.
“The punt fake hurt us in the second half,” said Johnson. “That was their biggest play of the night.”
On first down the Colts got a huge 52 yard run from Jaheim Allen, catapulting Cape Fear right into the Tigers’ jungle. Another nice run put them inside the ten yard line and gave them a huge opportunity with just over a minute to go. One more inside hand off to Allen put the Colts into the endzone giving them the lead for good at 20-16, but that wasn’t enough to satisfy them, but a successful two point conversion could. The Colts led 22-16 with 1:06 on the clock.
“Last time we lost to these guys, and we knew how important the game was to everyone so we had to come out and handle business,” Allen said
Said Coach Johnson of the gutsy performance by the young running back, “Jaheim played with a hurt knee all night.and made a huge impact. He has gotten much tougher over the course of the season.”
The Tiger offense had one more chance to take the game, but an aggressive Colt defense had other plans. Southview couldn’t muster any traction against a relentless pass rush, ending the game on an interception from freshman handyman Chris McDonald.
“Both sides came up big at the end of the game. Great job all around,” said Coach Johnson. “We prepared mentally by studying the film from our first game with them. The offense took care of the ball, and defense played tougher in the second half>
The young Colts’ last game will be against Gray’s Creek High on Thursday, October 28 at Cape Fear. Come out and see if the up and comers can finish their season with a winning record!!