The Tigers had a pair of lead-saving defensive plays in the fourth quarter.
HOPE MILLS — South View’s offense hogged the spotlight while the Tigers rolled through the first half of the season undefeated.
But it was a pair of fourth-quarter defensive plays Friday night that lifted the Tigers to a 20-16 win over visiting Cape Fear.
With the Tigers holding that tenuous four-point lead with under five minutes to play, Cape Fear tried a fake punt on a fourth-and-8 from its own 47.
Jaylen Hudson, a Wake Forest recruit at linebacker, carried the ball as far as the line of scrimmage before he was tackled by Elijah Wyand, and that play gave the ball back to the Tigers.
“What a play by No. 23, Elijah Wyand, a player who was out of position all in the first half,” Tigers coach Rodney Brewington said. “But he settled down and made, arguably, the play of the year for us to stop them.”
The Colts (5-3, 3-2 Patriot 4-A/3-A) would get another chance after a South View punt. With less than three minutes left on the clock, Cape Fear mounted a drive from its own 8 on a series of passes and short runs by quarterback Ki’mani Britton.
Penn State-bound Emery Simmons halted the momentum, picking off Britton near midfield and returning the ball to the Colt 25. That turnover left South View with only a minute to drain off the clock.
“We knew they had to drive the ball down the field, so I really just tried to play the sticks and force them into something underneath,” Simmons said. “Luckily, the ball just happened to be right there for me to come up and make a play.”
South View scored first on the night, taking advantage of a short field following a Cape Fear fumble.
Colts returner Taiquan Gamble mishandled a punt that was promptly recovered by Tyrese Harris and gave South View the ball at Cape Fear's 16.
Four plays later, quarterback Donovan Brewington connected with Matthew Pemberton for a 20-yard score and a 6-0 Tiger lead.
Despite the absence of leading rushing Zaire Boykin, who was out with an ankle sprain, Cape Fear answered with an 86-yard march. Running back Caydan McKethan capped the drive with a 3-yard plunge, and Mason Smith’s point-after kick was good for a 7-6 advantage.
Pemberton wasn’t done, escaping early contact on the ensuing kickoff return to go 95 yards for a touchdown. The Tigers couldn’t cash in on the two-point conversion try, which left their lead at 12-7 as the first quarter ended.
The teams traded touchdowns to open the second quarter. McKethan recorded his second of the night, and Brewington scored on a 3-yard rush before finding Simmons for a successful two-point conversion pass and a 20-13 halftime lead for the Tigers.
Smith booted a 39-yard field goal with 2:07 left in the third quarter, but neither team could find the end zone in the second half.
Cape Fear coach Jake Thomas said he was proud of his team’s physical play.
“Our defense played well tonight. We gave up a touchdown on the kickoff, and really our defense gave up two touchdowns,” the coach said. “We had a shot on the last drive. It came down to the very end for us, and our kids don’t have anything to hang their heads about.”
SOUTH VIEW 20, CAPE FEAR 16
SV — Matthew Pemberton 20 pass from Donovan Brewington (kick blocked)
CF — Caydan McKethan 8 run (Mason Smith kick)
SV — Pemberton 95 kickoff return (run failed)
CF — McKethan 1 run (run failed)
SV — D. Brewington 3 run (Emery Simmons pass from D. Brewington)
CF — FG Smith 39
Rushing: CF — McKethan 20-86, Alton Simmons 5-37, Ki’mani Britton 13-32, Jaylen Hudson 1-0. SV — Pemberton 10-25, Marzea Saunders 4-10, Tyrese Harris 4-9, Denarea McMillian 2-0, Simmons 1-7, D. Brewington 8-18.
Passing: CF — Britton 7-19-1, 54. SV — D. Brewington 9-10-0, 98.
Receiving: CF — McKethan 3-2, Taiquan Gamble 1-6, Hudson 1-11. SV — Pemberton 5-53, Simmons 1-27, Kevin Brewington 1-12, McMillian 2-6.
Records: Cape Fear 5-3, 3-2; South View 7-0, 4-0.
Staff writer Jaclyn Shambaugh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 910-609-0651.