QB Cole Wilson hands the ball off in Friday night’s game. Photo courtesy of Emily Raynor Photography.

CFNN Football Correspondent Ansley Thomas

The Colts football team advanced to the playoffs Friday and traveled to Morehead City to take on the West Carteret Patriots in a first round matchup. Unfortunately they came up short, losing 24-7.

Cole Wilson throws a pass to wide receiver Jeremiah Melvin. Photo courtesy of Emily Raynor Photography.

The Colts started the game strong with a score from senior running back Keyshon Washington, who put the Colts up 7-0. After forcing a fumble, the Colts took to the air, as Quarterback Cole Wilson hit sophomore wide receiver Jeremiah Melvin on a deep ball down to the Patriot 2 yard line.

Cape Fear was poised to go up two scores, but fumbled on 1st and goal. The Patriots came back ready to work. They scored a touchdown after the Colt fumble. 

“We started the game strong going up early by creating a turnover and following that up with a goalline stand,” said Head Coach Jake Thomas. “The momentum shifted quickly after we had a couple of first half turnovers, including the one from their two yard line. We never really recovered after those early turnovers.”

West Carteret would add 2 more touchdowns and a field goal in the second quarter, putting the Colts in a 24-7 hole from which they would not be able to escape. 

The halftime score would hold for the rest of the game, as neither team could find paydirt in the third and fourth quarters.

Despite multiple chances on several possessions, the Colts could not muster enough offense to get on the scoreboard. The defense was able to stop the Patriots from scoring in the second half with several timely stops and turnovers, but the offense just wasn’t able to score again.

¨I’ve always looked forward to football season while being here. It helped motivate me in school, in the weightroom and overall as a person,¨ said Senior Keyshon Washington. 

Wide receiver RJ McDonald makes the catch. Photo courtesy of Emily Raynor Photography.

Overall the team finished the season with 1704 yards passing and 929 yards rushing. The Colts top receiver was RJ McDonald with 581 yards. Jeremiah Melivin had 243 and Jacary Lightsey had  236 yards.

¨I feel like we had a really good team and had a chance to go farther. We just got caught up in our own mistakes and injuries, but next year I know they’re going to come back stronger,¨ said Washington.

The Colts top tier defense finished the season with 471 tackles. Top tackler Keyshon Washington had 54 tackles. Avery Moore and Jamari Williams both had 46 tackles. The Colts also had 27 sacks. They also recovered 17 fumbles and came up with 8 interceptions.

On the season, the defense was able to score 9 touchdowns and notch 3 safeties. The unit as a whole was very impressive.

“The season was an improvement from last year, so we are definitely moving in the right direction,” said Thomas. “We must continue to work in the offseason to fix our mistakes, and get bigger, faster and stronger in the weight room.”

Next season is looking very bright for the Colts, as they only lose 9 seniors to graduation. Although those 9 played a key role in the team this year, they’ve left a solid legacy in their contributions to Colt football.