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Nothing comes easy in the postseason as the Fike High Cyclones discovered in their North Carolina High School Athletic Association 4-A football playoff opener.
It wasn’t an easy victory for the Cyclones in defeating host High Point Central 13-7 in Albion Mills Stadium on the way to their second of three straight state 4-A titles.
“It certainly wasn’t,” said a hoarse Fike High head coach Henry Trevathan to Wilson Daily Times sports editor Cliff Turner after the game. “They hit hard; the hardest that we’ve been hit this year. They’re a good sound team. They go when they have the football.”
Central was led by future UNC star running back Sammy Johnson, who played quarterback for the Bison. However, Fike had its own star power in junior running back Carlester Crumpler, who had a season-high 171 yards on 18 carries. However, Crumpler’s biggest moment came in the third quarter when he turned a pass from senior quarterback John Wooten into a 42-yard touchdown. That give Fike the lead for keeps at 13-7.
The Cyclones had an 81-yard punt return for a TD by Steve Windham called back due to a penalty in the first quarter. However, Wooten connected with Phil Lamm on a 41-yard TD pass for a 6-0 lead (after Earl Killebrew’s extra-point kick was blocked).
The Bison came back on Ken Ingram’s 34-yard scoring run in the third quarter to tie the score and took the lead on Johnson’s PAT kick.
But Fike came right on Crumpler’s TD just as the quarter ended.
The Cyclones would need a great defensive stand in the final minutes, however. Central moved deep within Fike territory but the defense led by Stuart Walston, Larry Barnes, Wayne Musselwhite, Killebrew and Windham left the Bison stranded.
Lamm also had an interception in the first quarter that ended another Central drive deep in Cyclones’ territory.
Besides Crumpler’s big night, senior fullback Zeke Church ran for 64 yards on 11 carries and Wooten was 2-for-5 passing for 88 yards, both for TDs.
In the state 4-A semifinals the following week, the Cyclones (9-2) would get their chance at revenge against their Eastern 4-A Conference rival Durham, which handed Fike one of its two losses in the regular season.