The trend continued Friday night in arguably the most exciting — and most improbable — finish of the first round of the NCHSAA Playoffs, as Swett fell to Durham Hillside, 38-32, in overtime.
The Rams squandered an 18-6 first-half lead.
In the game’s closing moments, Swett and host Hillside were tied at 26-26 with 25 seconds left when Hillside threw an interception that was picked off by Juwan Jones and returned 25 yards for a go-ahead touchdown to put the Rams up 32-26 with 19.2 seconds left.
Somehow that was still enough time for Hillside to respond.
The Hornets used a good kick return and an ensuing first down to set up a game-tying hail mary touchdown pass in the waning seconds, sending the game into overtime.
In the extra session, the Rams missed a field goal and the Hornets followed with a 25-yard touchdown run by Khris Fransis to claim the overtime victory.
Swett’s loss makes the heralded Southeastern Conference 0-5 on the night.
Lumberton’s season ends to Cary
CARY — Lumberton couldn’t get its offense going in a 27-7 loss to Cary in first-round action of the 4AA state playoffs Friday night.
The Pirates (7-4), who finished the season on a four-game losing skid, fell in a 13-0 hole to the Imps at halftime and never recovered.
Lumberton’s lone touchdown of the night came on a 34-yard touchdown pass from Montrae Strother to senior wideout Dorian Davis early in the fourth quarter.
Until Friday, the Pirates had not lost in the first round of the state playoffs since 2007.
St. Pauls stumbles in fall to Cummings
BURLINGTON — Ladarrius McQueen’s 56-yard fumble return for a touchdown in the third quarter was the only scoring St. Pauls accounted for in its 38-6 season-ending loss to Cummings in the first round of the NCHSAA 2AA playoffs.
The Bulldogs trailed by a slim 3-0 margin after the first quarter before Cummings erupted for 21 second-quarter points to hold a 24-0 halftime command.
“It wasn’t real pretty. (Cummings) plays defensively very well,” St. Pauls coach Trey Sasser said.
Cummings stifled St. Pauls’ running game, holding the Bulldogs (6-6) to just eight yards on 25 carries. The Bulldogs didn’t have much better luck through the air, as they finished with a total of 90 passing yards on 5-of-15 passing. Jacob Locklear went 3-for-11 for 69 yards and Kane Banner finished 2-for-4 with 21.
Antonio Henderson led St. Pauls in receiving with 63 yards on two catches.