HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Cavs nip West Caldwell for Minor’s 50th career victory

Published Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021

Maiden beats Bandys; former Maiden

player wins debut as Freedom coach



Blane Fulbright ran for 125 yards and for two scores on 28 carries on Saturday afternoon, leading East Burke High’s 18-13 home win over West Caldwell that gave Cavs head coach Derrick Minor his 50th career victory.


Minor — whose previous head-coaching jobs include at Princeton, Rockingham County and Fred T. Foard – is 50-38.

He was out of coaching for one season after leaving Foard and debuted as the 10th head coach in East Burke history.

Dawson Langley added 73 yards rushing with a TD on 12 carries for the Cavs (1-0) in a Northwestern Foothills 2A game.

Fulbright’s TD runs were 4 and 18 yards, the latter one coming with four minutes, one second to play.

Nathan Rooks led the East Burke defense with four sacks and Logan Johnson had an interception.

West Caldwell debuted under Monte Simmons, who left West Iredell after last season to return to Caldwell County. His is also a former assistant at Hibriten.

Sophomore quarterback Jaylen Robinson threw for 223 yards for West Caldwell (0-1), going 10 for 19 and throwing two TDs to Makysis Dula (four catches for 104 yards).

Cameron Beaver led the Warriors with 13 tackles with Isaiah Cornell adding 10 and Mason Anthony and Chase Smith each adding eight.

East Burke’s next game is Friday at 7 p.m. at West Iredell, and West Caldwell will play at Hibriten on Friday at 7 p.m.

Fred T. Foard 28, Patton 6

Running backs Cameron Gore and Landon Marlowe each scored twice and combined for 177 rushing yards as the Tigers (1-0) won a Northwestern Foothills 2A game at home on Thursday night.

Gore scored Foard’s first two TDs – on runs of 9 and 17 yards – and the second one gave the Tigers a lead of 14-0 after a PAT by Alexis Woglemuth, one of Foard’s top female athletes.


After Kalen Byrd scored on a 1-yard run in the final minute of the third quarter for Patton (0-1), the Tigers did the rest of the scoring.

Marlowe ran 7 yards for a TD in the fourth quarter and had a 15-yard scoring run with about 3 ½ minutes to go. Woglemuth kicked PATs after each of those scores.

Marlowe carried 15 times for 115 yards and Gore had 15 carries for 62 yards.

Foard’s defense limited the Panthers to 93 rushing yards, forcing two lost fumbles, and the Tigers picked up career win No. 33 for head coach Ryan Gettys.

Gettys is in the second season of his second tenure as Foard’s head coach, going 2-9 last season and 30-61 in eight seasons in his first tenure.

Foard’s next game is Friday at 7 p.m., a league game at Bunker Hill, while Patton plays a conference game versus Draughn (7 p.m.) on Saturday at Freedom.

Hibriten 50, Bunker Hill 13

The Panthers had a 23-point first quarter and built a lead of 50-0 over the visiting Bears on Thursday night in a Northwestern Foothills 2A opener.

Hibriten (1-0) led 37-0 at the half after a 5-yard TD run by Cedric Shuford, who scored on a 22-yard run for the only score of the third quarter.

The Bears (0-1) scored on a 20-yard TD reception by Jay Abrams and a 1-yard run.

Six players scored for the Panthers, who had a safety and a 10-yard fumble return TD by David Shore.

Hibriten is at home Friday at 7 p.m. to face West Caldwell while Bunker Hill plays its first home game of the year by facing Fred T. Foard at 7 p.m.

Draughn 14, West Iredell 3

Running back Nigel Dula and defense sparked a season-opening home win on Thursday night for the Wildcats (1-0) in a Northwestern Foothills 2A battle.

Dula scored twice, including the go-ahead TD in the third quarter, and finished with 17 carries for 143.

The Warriors (0-1) had a 3-0 lead when Kendall Brown kicked a 20-yard field goal after a scoreless first half.

Dula’s 26-yard TD run gave Draughn the lead for good. He added a 16-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.

West Iredell was limited to 26 rushing yards but threw for 216 with quarterback Elijah Munoz going 17 for 30 for 216 yards with Eric Hayes making 12 catches for 167 yards.

Draughn had 319 yards of total offense.

The Wildcats’ next game is Saturday at 7 p.m. against Patton at Freedom. West Iredell plays at home Friday at 7 p.m. against East Burke.


Maiden 21, Bandys 7

Quarterback Ethan Rhodes ran for a TD and passed for another, leading visiting Maiden (1-0) over the Trojans (0-1) at Bandys on Thursday night in a South Fork 2A game.

Rhodes completed 18 of 31 passes for 303 yards, connecting with Brennan James on eight passes for 157 yards while Chris Culliver, who transferred from Bandys to Maiden, had six catches for 83 yards.

Rhodes’ 15-yard pass to Jacob Sigmon came in the second quarter but a conversion pass failed, leaving Maiden ahead 6-0.

About eight minutes later, the Trojans took the lead when Parker Stybroski made a diving catch in the end zone on a pass by Parker DeHart. Neftaly Rivera’s PAT put Bandys ahed 7-6.

Maiden did the rest of the scoring, a 2-yard run by Rhodes with 9:04 left in the third quarter and on a 42-yard pass from Rhodes to James with 4:56 left in play in the quarter.

Bandys’ defense held the Blue Devils to 53 yards on 27 rushes, and the Blue Devils survived two lost fumbles and 11 penalties for 90 yards.

Winning on the night that it legendary ex-head coach Tom Brown died, the Blue Devils increased their series lead over Bandys to 51-14-3.

Maiden has won two straight and five of the last six over the Trojans.

Bandys’ next game is Friday at 7 p.m. at Newton-Conover while Maiden will be at home Friday for a 7 p.m. game against West Lincoln .

Lincolnton 27, Newton-Conover 13

Running back Deandre Smith accounted for four scores – three in the final quarter – as the Wolves rallied to beat the Red Devils on Thursday night in a South Fork 2A opener.

Newton-Conover (0-1) grabbed a 13-0 lead on a 1-yard fumble return TD by Javin Cauthen and a 2-yard run by Allan Shade.

With less than two minutes left in the third quarter, Smith hit Connor Williams for a 43-yard TD pass that pulled Lincolnton within 13-6.

The Wolves (1-0) then scored three times in the final 3:12 to win.

Smith found Williams for a 16-yard scoring throw with 3:12 to go and Isiah Bostic caught a two-point conversion pass from Williams.

With 1:53 to play, Smith broke a 19-yard run for a TD and had scored on a 43-yard run with 34 seconds to play.

Williams finished 14 of 28 for 122 yards with Smith catching seven for 80 yards and adding 82 rushing yards on five carries.

Shade had 27 carries for 237 of the Red Devils’ 245 yards rushing.

Newton-Conover had 15 penalties for 120 yards.

The Red Devils’ next game is Friday at 7 p.m. at home against Bandys while the Wolves will be at home Friday (7 p.m.) against East Lincoln.

North Lincoln 10, West Lincoln 6

In a defensive battle to open the South Fork 2A schedule, the Knights nipped the Rebels at North Lincoln.

North Lincoln ran for 195 yards, led by 51 yards on 10 carries and a TD by Cooper Wray.

Tyler Craig Rathbone had an interception for the Knights and Trace Diogenski lead the defense with 13 tackles and Sam Wilkins added nine.

Mason Huitt hit Samuel Duncan with a 20-yard pass for West Lincoln’s only score.

The Rebels (0-1) had 189 yards of total offense, led by Grayson Barkley’s 74 rushing yards on 14 carries with Hunter Leonhardt adding 54 all-purpose yards.

Defensively, Curtis Goins led West Lincoln with nine tackles and four assists. Christyn Neal added eight tackles and two assists, Mason Avery had eight tackles and Evan Rye provided six tackles (three for lost yardage), two sacks and one assist.

North Lincoln’s next game is Friday at 7 p.m. at home against West Mecklenburg, a game added when Lake Norman Charter indicated it won’t field a varsity team this season.

West Lincoln goes on the road Friday at 7 p.m. to battle Maiden.

East Lincoln 28, Mountain Island Charter 27

The Mustangs (1-0) started their fourth season under head coach David Lubowicz by erasing a 13-point deficit, winning their season-opening game at home on Saturday night.

East Lincoln added a non-league game against Mountain Island Charter after Lake Norman Charter decided not to play a varsity schedule in the South Fork 2A this season.


Mountain Island Charter led 13-0 in the first quarter and was up 27-21 at the half.

After a scoreless third quarter, the Raptors drove to the East Lincoln 2 but did not score.

An interception by East Lincoln’s Ben Cutter with a bit more than three minutes to play gave the Mustangs a chance to go for Lubowicz’s 21st win at East Lincoln.

Quarterback Tyler Mizzell scored on a 5-yard run and a PAT by Jaxoin Sellers put East Lincoln ahead by one point.

Cutter then had a quarterback sack that helped East Lincoln secure the win.

Mizell completed 13 of 19 passes for 164 yards, hitting Markell Clark three times for 50 yards and Paulie Menegay three times for 23 yards.

Mountain Island quarterback Dylan Bisson went 13 of 18 for 199 yards with Jaden Lockhart making four catches for 86 yards.

Cutter had nine tackles – one for lost yardage – and Trent Smith had eight tackles for East Lincoln, and both had an interception.

The Mustangs’ next game is Friday at 7 p.m., a South Fork 2A game at Lincolnton.


McDowell 21, Hickory 7

The Titans (1-0) jumped to a 21-0 lead and beat the host Red Tornadoes (0-1) on Saturday night in a Northwestern 3A-4A opener.

McDowell’s Seth Baird had the only first-half score, a 6-yard run in the first quarter, and he added a PAT.

Baird’s 11-yard run with less than a minute to go in the third quarter gave the Titans a 14-0 lead when Baird added a PAT.

After Riley Moore’s interception, McDowell (1-0) extended its lead on a 1-yard TD run by Quantavian Moore and another Baird PAT.

Hickory scored in the fourth quarter on Nick Everhart’s 14-yard run.

McDowell limited the Red Tornadoes to less than 60 rushing yards.

Everhart completed eight of 21 passes for 137 yards and Gabe Marsh was 6 for 12 for 133 yards to the Titans.

Moore had three catches for nearly 100 yards for McDowell.

Hickory’s next game is Friday at 7 p.m against Freedom in Morganton.

McDowell will play at home on Friday at 7 p.m., facing St. Stephens.

Freedom 18, St. Stephens 14

Freedom (1-0) used a 60-yard fumble return score in the third quarter to nip visiting St. Stephens in a Northwestern 3A-4A game, winning the debut of Justin Hawn as head coach on Thursday night.

With the Indians (0-1) leading 14-12, the Patriots’ Demarcus Lawrence took a fumble 60 yards to put Freedom ahead.


St. Stephens had an early 8-0 lead via a 3-yard TD run by Zak McLauchlin and conversion pass from Zane McPherson to Anthony Rangel-Garcia.

Freedom scored on two passes in the second quarter – Thad Reid hitting Damien Dula for 13 yards and Desmond Caldwell for 54 yards – to lead 12-8.

McPherson’s 1-yard scoring run put the Indians in front 14-12 at the half.

Reid finished 15 of 23 for 148 yards with Caldwell making seven catches for 103 yards.

Freedom had just 14 rushing yards.

Both teams lost two fumbles each, and it was a penalty-filled game (Freedom 11 for 94 yards, the Indians 13 for 85).

McLauchlin led St. Stephens’ rushing (24 carries for 80 yards).

Hawn is a Maiden graduate who played for the late Tom Brown and came to Freedom after seven years as an assistant coach at Shelby.

Spartans-Pioneers postponed

A Northwestern 3A-4A opener, Watauga at South Caldwell, was postponed because South Caldwell is under quarantine.

The game has not been rescheduled.

South Caldwell is scheduled to open its season Friday (7 p.m.) with a non-conference game at Statesville.

Watauga is scheduled to play at home Friday at 7 p.m. in a league game against Alexander Central.


South Iredell 7, Alexander Central 2

Jaylin Neal’s 8-yard run broke a scoreless tie with 7:57 left in the third quarter and provided the TD that gained the host Vikings a non-league win on Thursday night.

Alexander Central (0-1) scored a safety with 5:53 to play.

Neal led the Vikings, who had 147 yards of total offense, with 18 carries for 121 yards.

Rhyeem Craig had nine carries for 48 yards for the Cougars, who had 158 yards on offense and 145 of that via rushing.

Dalton Beck and Craig led Alexander Central’s defense with 10 tackles each and Craig had three for lost yardage. Russell Frasier added seven tackles and Josh Stubbs had six.

The Vikings got eight tackles by Joey Sammon and two of Joseph Sloan’s five tackles were for lost yardage.

Time of possession was nearly even with the Cougars having the ball 1:04 longer than the Vikings.

Alexander Central’s next game is Friday at 7 p.m., at Northwestern 3A-4A game at Watauga.

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