Football

Cape Fear holds off Clinton, 13-7

Posted August 17
Updated August 19

— Cape Fear’s 13-7 win at Clinton on Friday wasn’t pretty, but it’s fair to say it was a total team effort.

The Colts, working with both Justice Galloway-Velazquez and Aaron Lewis at quarterback, scored twice in the first half and the defense kept the Dark Horses out of the end zone.

Cape Fear, struggling to overcome injuries on both sides of the ball, used six rushers, including Galloway-Velazquez and Lewis, as well as running backs Zaire Boykin and J’Velus Peterson.

Galloway-Velazquez, who skipped all of the Colts’ scrimmages while healing from ankle surgery in April, also played linebacker, helping to plug some holes left by two injured starters.

“Obviously, Justice coming back is different for our guys just because we’re not used to having him in live competition,” coach Jake Thomas said. “We had planned on using a couple of different guys there, with using Aaron Lewis some at quarterback, so I think we did all right there. But we need to be more in sync.”

With so many of moving parts in new positions, the Colts looked out of rhythm early. They suffered a pair of muffed snaps on their first series, the latter of which was scooped up by Clinton’s Zion Autry. Autry had only 3 yards to go to the end zone, and kicker Chandler Perry’s point-after kick put the Horses ahead 7-0 with less than four minutes off the clock.

Cape Fear answered on the next drive, with Lewis taking over at QB for Galloway-Velazquez. Lewis had four of the five carries in the series, including a 5-yard push across the goal line to put the Colts on the board. Kicker Mason Smith’s attempt missed the mark, leaving Clinton ahead 7-6 with 7:34 to play in the opening quarter.

Colts running backs Zaire Boykin and J’Velus Peterson took over from there, splitting most of Cape Fear’s carries for the remainder of the game. Boykin finished with a game-high 132 yards on 20 carries.

Boykin scored the deciding touchdown with 1:32 left in the first half, reaching the end zone on a 13-yard run that capped a 55-yard drive — all of it by Boykin. The score and a kick from Smith put the Colts ahead 13-7 for good.

“This season is just about everybody trying their hardest when their turn comes up,” Boykin said. “Everybody’s getting their reps in.”

Peterson had 53 yards on 10 carries.

“I’d say me and Zaire compete with each other, make each other better,” Peterson said. “When he came out, that just made me work harder.”

Clinton, which was missing two of its regular starters from the offensive line, struggled to move the ball from the start. Coach Bob Lewis said the Horses paid the price for mistakes in key situations.

“We got down here in the first half and got a third-and-1 and jumped offsides to make it third-and-6 — stuff like that,” Lewis said. “To make some of the mistakes we made and still be in it, I don’t like to lose, but we had our chances.”

Staff writer Jaclyn Shambaugh can be reached at jshambaugh@fayobserver.com or 609-0651

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