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The Fike High Cyclones weren’t really ever in danger of losing the seventh game of the 1969 varsity football season but the host Hillside Hornets made the soon-to-be three-time state 4-A champions work mighty hard for their 27-6 victory.
In the game played Friday, Oct. 24, 1969, at Durham County Stadium, the Cyclones were held scoreless until only 3 minutes, 22 seconds remained before halftime. Vaunted senior fullback Carlester Crumpler finished the Cyclones’ 12-play, 71-yard drive by darting the final 21 yards for the game’s first score. The extra-point kick missed but the Cyclones had several more points up their sleeves.
Fike held Hillside on the ensuing possession and the Hornets lined up to punt. However, Fike’s Billy Farris and Harry Lamm blasted through the line and blocked the punt. Farris found the football at the 16-yard line and made it to the 6 before he was tackled.
On the next play, Fike senior quarterback George Wilkerson hit classmate Chip Gibbons on a quick toss for six more points. Mike Foster’s PAT kick made it 13-0 Fike with 55 seconds left in the half.
The Cyclones added to their lead on the first possession of the second half. Moving the ball 47 yards on eight plays (and a 15-yard penalty on Hillside), Fike turned to its star fullback again and Crumpler produced a 13-yard TD run, his 17th of the season. Another Foster PAT kick made 20-0 with 8:37 to play in the third quarter.
However, the Hillside defense would stiffen and, when running back Larry Goldston dove over the goal line from a yard out with 11:55 to play in the fourth quarter, the Hornets were motivated for more. A Fike fumble near midfield on the following possession gave Hillside a chance but the Cyclones defense shut it down. Neither team could move the ball over the final minutes of the quarter until Fike turned to a trick play in the final two minutes.
Senior Dan Killebrew, the pulling guard, picked up the ball that Wilkerson had laid on the ground for him and rumbled 34 yards for a TD in a version of the play famously known as the “fumblerooski.”
Crumpler hit the century mark again, rushing for 103 yards on 12 carries to give him 1,066 on the season. With classmate and fellow backfield speedster Phil Lamm effectively sidelined with an injury, Crumpler had help from Ricky Barnes, who had 35 yards on five carries, and Willie Williams with 18 yards on seven carries. Crumpler also caught an 8-yard pass. Punter Clark Davis averaged 37.3 yards on three kicks while the Fike defense limited Hillside to 112 offensive yards, all on the ground.
Now 7-0, Fike would face its toughest test of the regular season the following week when the Cyclones would head down Highway 117 to face their blood rivals, the Goldsboro Cougars (formerly the Earthquakes) in a game that would be for the Eastern 4-A Conference Division II crown for Fike.