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The Fike High Cyclones unveiled a 1-2 punch unlike no other high school football team in the state of North Carolina as they rolled to a 45-14 conquest of visiting Greenville Rose in the second game of the 1969 season, which was the first meeting between Fike and Rose since 1964.
After sitting out Fike’s 67-13 win over Wilmington Hoggard in the season opener a week earlier, senior running back Carlester Crumpler more than made up for lost time in the Sept. 19, 1969, outing. Crumpler rolled for 270 yards and two touchdowns on just 20 carries while backfield mate Phil Lamm punished the Rampants with 192 yards and two rushing TDs as the Cyclones piled up 472 rushing yards. Lamm also caught a pair of TD tosses from senior quarterback George Wilkerson, who completed 7-of-11 passes for 68 yards and three touchdowns. Lamm had already accumulated 321 rushing yards and six touchdowns in two games.
In short, it was yet another offensive onslaught for the Cyclones on their way to what was an unprecedented third straight North Carolina High School Athletic Association 4-A championship. Starting with Lamm’s 19-yard TD haul from Wilkerson, Fike roared to a 20-0 lead after one quarter. Lamm had a 10-yard TD scamper before Crumpler got the crowd on its feet at Cyclone Country Stadium with an 85-yard scoring run.
“Crump,” who had a 69-yard TD run called back on a penalty later in the game, reached the end zone from 27 yards in the second quarter. The Rampants finally mustered a response on a halfback pass to Mike Harrington in the third quarter.
Besides 95 yards in penalties, Fike also had four fumbles lost but the defense managed to pick off two passes (by Lamm and Chip Gibbons) by Rose quarterback Joe West, who would become a National League umpire in 1976 and is still calling major league games. West finished with 224 passing yards against Fike, which was led defensively by seniors Dan Killebrew, Wayne Musselwhite, Stuart Walston, Ricky Barnes, Gibbons, Lamm and Crumpler. The Cyclones limited the Rampants to just 50 rushing yards.
Lamm had a 40-yard TD run in the third quarter before Wilkerson found Clark Davis on a 19-yard TD hook-up. Lamm, who also completed a 15-yard pass to Barnes, finished the night with “spectacular one-handed catch,” wrote Daily Times sports editor Cliff Turner, for a 19-yard TD to end the scoring.
It was the first victory in Eastern 4-A Conference Division Two play for Fike (2-0), which would go on the road to play a familiar foe in Durham the following Friday.
Each Saturday, the Times will recap a game from Fike’s championship season in 1969 through the support of Scott “Pick” Picken of State Farm.