CFNN Reporters Grace Sherbert & Gracie McLaurin

On Friday, September 3rd, Cape Fear traveled  down the road to Bulldog Territory ready for the Battle of the Blues, a game that would determine which team was the Best Blue in Fayetteville. The Colts came into the contest as heavy underdogs, with some prognosticators favoring the Bulldogs to win by as much as 30 points.

The game was as good as was advertised, with some tense moments and plenty of offense, but the Colts pulled away from Terry Sanford late with a 39-28 victory.

This was a huge win for the Colts after a tough loss last week to a greatly improved EE Smith team. Cape Fear needed a big win because their season was hanging in the balance. 

Leading up to this big game, the Colts focused on playing to their full potential, working together and playing physical football for a full 48 minutes.

“We have been grinding as hard as we can,” said senior Strong Safety Tyler Buckley.  “We don’t know how hard the other teams in the county are working, so we focused this week on doing what we could do, controlling what we could control, and making sure that we deserved to win in the 4th quarter.“  

The stands were packed with cheering fans ready for an extraordinary game. The crowds for both schools filled the stands. 

The Bulldogs started the scoring on a 30 yard touchdown run in the first quarter. The Colts responded quickly when Senior QB Cole Wilson found Junior Wide Receiver Ricardo McDonald on a deep ball in the last minute of the first to put Cape Fear on the board. Unfortunately, a failed PAT kept the Bulldogs in the lead 7-6. 

The Bulldogs broke loose again in the second quarter for another score. The extra point was good, leaving Terry Sanford up 14-6 at the half.

The Colts rallied after halftime, scoring two touchdowns on receptions by Senior wide receiver Devonte Hill and Junior running back Favour Murtala. This gave the Colts the lead 25-14 going into the fourth quarter.

“We never gave up,” said Murtala after the game. “Even when we were down, we pushed through.” 

Terry Sanford did not take the shift so kindly, as they answered with 2 big touchdowns of their own. This put the Bulldogs up 28-25 midway through the fourth quarter.

On the first play of the ensuing drive, the Colts took the lead back for good. Murtala took a handoff and streaked down the Cape Fear sideline for a 63 yard touchdown, leaving Bulldog defenders behind him.

“The whole team brought energy, including the sidelines,” said Junior Middle Linebacker Landon Sargent. “Everyone just played all the way to the end.”

The intense effort for all 48 minutes allowed Cape Fear to take home the long awaited “Battle of the Blues” trophy that the Bulldogs have held since 2017.

“Our word of the week this week was ‘love’,” said Head Coach Jake Thomas. “In order to win, you must love to compete, love to work hard, and love the game. Our focus was on loving to compete for a full 48 minutes. I feel like we did a great job of rallying when we faced some adversity in the second half. I’m proud of our guys.”

In all the Colts racked up 564 yards of total offense. Cole Wilson lit up the sky, throwing for 331 yards through the air with 3 touchdowns and an interception. The Colts rushed for 233 yards. Favour Murtala led all rushers with 18 carries for 170 yards and one touchdown. 

The Colts are open for a much needed break this Friday, but they will be back in action at Lumberton High School on Friday, September 16th where they will take on the Pirates at 7pm. Stay tuned to see how our team plays! Go Colts!