Linebacker Mason Buff had 10 tackles and Sullivan Johnson ran for 78 yards and one touchdown as St. Stephens High nipped visiting South Caldwell 26-20 on Monday night in junior varsity football.
The Indians (7-2, 3-2) are alone in third place in the Northwestern 3A-4A after winning, behind second-place South Caldwell (5-4, 4-1) and Alexander Central (7-0, 4-0).
St. Stephens closes its season on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at home, facing Hickory.
Johnson, a sophomore, had eight carries, sophomore quarterback Gavin Marley ran six times for 39 yards and completed five of 11 passes for 77 yards for the Indians. Sophomore running back Alex Brown also had a rushing TD.
Buff, a sophomore, led the Indians on defense. Brown, also a linebacker, added six tackles and three assists while sophomore cornerback Jordan Graham made five tackles and sophomore safety Omar Orozo had seven.
Troy Hicks, a sophomore safety, had two interceptions for St. Stephens, whose only losses of the season are 20-18 against McDowell and 50-14 against Alexander Central.
South Caldwell has one JV game to go, Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in Hudson against Alexander Central.
East Lincoln 8, North Lincoln 2
The Mustangs finished in second place (behind Newton-Conover) in the South Fork 2A with a victory on the road.
Miller Towson added one goal and two assists and Ahbi Mehta scored for the Mustangs. Chase Lynch contributed two assists and Noah Graden had one for East Lincoln.
Newton-Conover repeated as South Fork 2A champion by going 12-1-1.
North Lincoln went 5-9-0 in the conference, finishing in sixth place.
Watauga 4, Hickory 3
Jair Alvarez scored twice on Monday night, leading Watauga to a victory over the Red Tornadoes at South Caldwell that broke the tie for the top 3A seed into the state playoffs.
The Pioneers and Red Tornadoes shared the conference title at 12-2-0 each and they split in the regular season, forcing a playoff match for seeding.
Alvarez gave Watauga an early lead before Hickory went up 3-1 via two goals and a penalty kick goal.
Alvarez’s goal on an assist by Owen Combs got Watauga within 3-2 and a corner kick goal by James Privette tied it 3-all.
The game-winning goals was scored by Gabe Highfield.