Cape Fear stuns Terry Sanford, 40-24
Posted September 7
Updated September 9
Fayetteville, N.C. — Even coming off of a loss and trailing by 10 points at halftime, the Cape Fear Colts were looking forward to entering the second half at Terry Sanford on Friday.
“We never look back,” running back Zaire Boykin said. “The most important play is always the next one.”
The Colts scored 33 unanswered points in the second half, recovering from a stagnant start to topple the previously unbeaten Bulldogs for a 40-24 win. The contest, dubbed the Battle of the Blues, was the first meeting between the two as members of the new Patriot 4-A/3-A Conference.
The Colts (3-1, 1-0) stalled after a first-quarter score while the Bulldogs scored three touchdowns and a field goal over the next 18 minutes to lead 24-7 two minutes into the third quarter.
Running back Dorian Clark rushed for a game-high 180 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries for the Bulldogs. Christian Jayne and brother Andrew, a starting wide receiver, each threw a touchdown pass in the first half.
For Cape Fear, the start felt like a flashback to a week ago, when the Colts fell behind 19-0 at New Hanover. Cape Fear came back to tie the game but ultimately fell 26-19 for its first loss of the season.
“We’ve got to get off to a better start,” Colts coach Jake Thomas said. “But I think our guys do understand that we’re never out of a game. After last week’s game and this one, we know we can always fight back into it, one play and one position at a time.”
The Colts’ comeback began with a jolt on special teams from Aaron Lewis, who returned a post-score kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown with 9:45 left in the third quarter.
Ten seconds later, safety Tyone Tillman-Ashford picked off Andrew Jayne, who had taken a toss from brother Christian and aimed a pass over the middle, and returned the ball to the Bulldogs 21.
Colts quarterback Justice Galloway-Velazquez needed just one play to rush 21 yards for a touchdown that cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 24-20 less than three minutes into the second half.
After a Terry Sanford drive that died at the Cape Fear 32-yard line, the Colts marched 68 yards on 14 plays, capping the drive with a 30-yard pass from Galloway-Velazquez to Boykin for a 26-24 lead.
The Colts grabbed four interceptions off the Bulldogs, who hadn’t thrown a pick entering the game. Three of the interceptions led to Cape Fear touchdowns, and twice the Colts scored on the ensuing play.
They got their final pick of the night, plucked at the line by Galloway-Velazquez, in at linebacker, to give Cape Fear a short field from the Bulldogs 28. That was close enough for Boykin, who covered the distance on a carry to stretch the Colts’ lead to 32-24 with 9:35 left to play.
The junior running back scored four touchdowns — three on the ground plus a touchdown reception — and gained 136 total yards.
Terry Sanford coach Bruce McClelland said his team went flat after Lewis’ kickoff-return touchdown.
“They got the momentum, and it was like a train,” said McClelland, who is in his first year as the Bulldogs’ head coach. “We were pleased with what we did at halftime and didn’t adjust well when they scored in the second half. I don’t think we’ve faced adversity like we did tonight, and I’m hoping we learn to handle that.”
Staff writer Jaclyn Shambaugh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-0651.