The Wolves led undefeated Maiden for more than three quarters Friday night, but in the end it was Maiden that came out on top with a 28-21 win in the regular season finale at Memorial Stadium in Lincolnton.
Senior quarterback Keygan Mayfield found Montrell Stinson all alone behind the Wolves secondary on a 75-yard scoring play with just 1:07 to play in the game that wound up being the difference.
Mayfield completed 8 of his 15 pass attempts for 136 yards and three touchdowns, including another scoring toss to Stinson from 14 yards out.
Lincolnton got on the board first on a 64-yard run by running back Tyshaun Harris midway through the first period, and the score remained that way until the 6:07 mark in the second quarter. That’s when quarterback Terrell McClain found Tyreke Hollis in the end zone from 10 yards out, and Brian Sedano’s extra point extended the Wolves lead to 14-0.
But the biggest play in the game came when a Maiden punt was downed at the Lincolnton one-yard line with just over a minute to play in the opening half. Three plays later, the Wolves fumbled, and the Blue Devils capitalized with a four-yard touchdown pass from Mayfield to Caleb McDaniel just 16 seconds before the break.
The teams went scoreless through the third period, before Mayfield’s first scoring toss to Stinson, coupled with a Casey Ly extra point, tied the game at 14 early in quarter number four.
Mayfield gave Maiden their first lead with exactly 6 minutes to play in the game on a 35-yard touchdown run, but Lincolnton answered when Harris took the ensuing kickoff and raced 74 yards to paydirt, tying the game once again at 21.
The Wolves had a chance to have a game-winning drive, but faced with a third-and-one at the Blue Devils 49-yard line, Maiden linebacker Blaine Vance shot through the middle of the Lincolnton line and tackled McClain in the backfield for a four-yard loss, forcing a punt with less than two minutes remaining.
After Maiden lost a yard on first down, Mayfield connected with Stinson on the game-winner.
The Blue Devils finish the regular season 11-0, and 7-0 in the South Fork 2A conference. They will be one of the number one seeds when the 2AA playoff pairings are released on Saturday. Lincolnton falls to 5-6 overall, 4-3 in conference play, and will enter the 2A playoffs as a wild card.