North Stanly varsity falls in final seconds at home

Published 2:18 am Saturday, September 18, 2021

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The North Stanly Comets rallied several times in Friday’s home game with the Randleman Tigers.

However, a fortunate bounce off a foot in the last seconds gave the Tigers a 31-28 win.

Trailing by four with 9.8 seconds left, Randleman QB Christian Long threw a pass into the end zone. Two Comet defenders and one Tiger receiver met at the same time the ball reached the end zone. As the players fell to the ground, the ball deflected off a Randleman foot and went into the air.

A Tiger receiver behind the play reached down and grabbed the football. Two officials immediately ruled the play a touchdown. After the officials discussed the play, it was announced the pass was incomplete. However, the head referee seconds later signaled the pass was complete for a touchdown with four seconds left in the game.

The back-and-forth contest started with the visitors going up early. Thomas Tobias put the Tigers up in the first quarter with an 8-yard touchdown run.

Trailing 7-0 early in the second quarter, North (1-3) quarterback Luke Shaver finished a long drive with a one-yard plunge into the end zone. Kaden Young’s extra point tied the game 7-7.

Ervodd Cassidy scored from two yards out with 7:38 left in the first half to give the visitors the lead. Randleman (1-3) added a 41-yard field goal in the final minute of the first half to lead 17-7 at halftime.

North’s rally started two minutes into the second half when Shaver found B.A. Harris in the middle of the field open with a pass. Harris raced to the end zone for a 74-yard touchdown, pulling the Comets within three, 17-14.

Later in the third, Karee Dykes took a pitch from six yards out and scored around the left side of the line to put the Comets ahead 21-17.

The lead changed hands three times in the final four minutes of the game, with Randleman pulling back ahead. A short touchdown run with 2:30 left put the Tigers ahead 24-21.

But North had time for one more scoring drive. Starting at the Comet 23-yard line, a pass interference call on third down and 10 kept North’s drive alive. B.A. Harris ran a reverse which gained 22 yards. Two plays later, Shaver stepped up in the pocket and found Stefan Harris with a pass to the home sidelines. Harris avoided two Randleman tacklers and curled into the end zone with 37.4 seconds left, putting North back on top 28-24.

However, a late flag on the touchdown for unsportsmanlike conduct backed the Comets up on the ensuing kickoff 15 yards. Randleman took over at the North 47-yard line with under 30 seconds to play. Randleman’s Long completed a pass down to the Comets’ 31-yard line as his receiver got out of bounds with 18.6 seconds to play. Long then completed another pass down to the North 19, which set up the game-winning touchdown.

North has a bye week this Friday and returns to the field Oct. 1 with a road game at Union Academy to open Yadkin Valley Conference play.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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