West Lincoln upended at Hunter Huss, fails to pick up first playoff win
DENVER –– East Lincoln was challenged, but the defending state champion met it head-on.
Chazz Surratt ran for 162 yards and accounted for four touchdowns, and Coleton Banks rushed for 136 yards and his first score of the season as the Mustangs rallied to beat Bandys 35-27 in the first round of the NCHSAA state 2AA playoffs on Friday night.
East Lincoln (8-4) will host Maiden, a 35-0 winner over Forbush, in a second round game next week.
Surratt’s 4-yard run with 2:14 left in the third quarter put the Mustangs on top for good after they fell behind 27-21 less than 2 minutes earlier.
It was the first time they had trailed since falling behind 10-7 to Bunker Hill in the third quarter on Oct. 11.
Surratt’s third and final rushing TD of the game gave his team a 28-27 lead following back-to-back scores by the Trojans (5-7), who used consecutive TD runs of 2 and 9 yards by Quiante Derr to turn a 21-13 halftime deficit into the lead.
Bandys, which was held to 4 yards rushing in the first half, hit the Mustangs in the mouth with the run in the second.
The Trojans made it 21-19 on a 2-yard run by Derr 3 minutes into the third quarter on a drive that featured six runs and one pass –– a 44-yard hookup between Dillon Street and quarterback Logan Beegle that set up the score.
Bandys forced East Lincoln into a three-and-out on its next series, then marched 81yards in eight plays, including a 45-yard run by Street that led to Derr’s 9-yard score.
With 4:08 left in the third quarter the Trojans led the Mustangs 27-21, seven weeks after they were embarrassed by East Lincoln 55-26 in the Southern District 7 Athletic 2A Conference opener. Bandys gave up 27 points in the third quarter alone in that game, but this time it was the fourth quarter where the Mustangs made their move.
Beegle completed 12 of his 26 pass attempts for 136 yards but was picked off twice –– both by Damarius Valentine.
Derr had a team-high 57 rush yards on 20 carries, and Travis Kiser converted field goals of 36 and 38 yards.
But Surratt, who had TD runs of 8, 44 and 4 yards and threw a 6-yard scoring pass to Austin Buchanan in the second quarter, and Banks, whose 15-yard score with 8:01 left was the decider, were too much.
LINCOLNTON 14, THOMASVILLE 7
THOMASVILLE –– A week after letting Maiden run and pass all over it the Wolves’ defense held the Bulldogs to 117 yards of offense as they advanced to the second round of the state playoffs for the seventh straight year.
Jordon Easter ran for 80 yards and a TD and threw for 54 yards and a score to account for both of Lincolnton’s touchdowns. The Wolves (8-4) travel to No. 1-seeded Winston-Salem Carver, a 53-14 winner over Lake Norman Charter, for a second-round 2AA game next week.
Easter scored on a 1-yard run to go up 7-0, then Demoris Payne scored on a 3-yard run for a 7-7 tie at halftime.
Nick Hatchett caught a 36-yard TD pass from Easter for the only score after the break –– with 2 minutes left to play.
Neither team had a big night offensively. Thomasville (5-7), which ended Lincolnton’s season in the second round last year, held the Wolves to 226 total yards –– 172 rushing.
The Wolves improved to 3-2 all-time against the Bulldogs, with all five games coming in the state playoffs.
HUNTER HUSS 30, WEST LINCOLN 27
GASTONIA –– Daniel Davila did his part, but it wasn’t enough to give the Rebels their first playoff win.
Davila ran for 209 yards and two scores but an 11-point second-quarter lead couldn’t be held as the Huskies won their first playoff game since 2006.
Hunter Huss (5-7) will host Bunker Hill, a 20-17 winner over Ashe County, in a second round game next week.
Charles Mack George’s 2-yard scoring run with 2:49 left in the second quarter gave West Lincoln (7-5) a 21-10 lead. But Hunter Huss, which defeated the Rebels for the first time in three tries, answered roughly 90 seconds later and scored three unanswered TDs for the win.
Xavier Thomas’s 44-yard TD pass from Ryan Ford made it 21-17, then Kerrion Moore’s 15-yard scoring run put the Huskies on top for good.
Davila scored on runs of 2 and 26 yards, and Taylor Long added a 5-yard TD run with 1:17 left to play.
West Lincoln is winless in six trips to the postseason, and ended its season by losing its last four games.
Moore, Hunter Huss’ leading rusher, was kept out of the first half due to a violation of team rules. He finished with 61 yards on 13 carries.
The Lexington Dispatch and Gaston Gazette contributed to this roundup. For more on these games see Monday’s edition of the Lincoln Times-News.