High school football notebook - Wildcats, Bears streaking into 3rd-round rematch

New Hanover Wildcats stayed alive Friday night as they challenged Southeast Raleigh Bulldogs in the 2nd round of playoffs at Legion Stadium. The near freezing weather did not drive fans away as the Wildcats beat the Bulldogs 41-34 in the last minutes of the 4th quarter. (Photo by Photo by Jeff Janowski)

Get ready for a pair of rematches in the quarterfinal round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association football playoffs on Friday night.

New Hanover (10-2) visits New Bern (11-1) in 4A, while South Columbus (9-3) travels to East Bladen (10-2) in 2A.

The Wildcats have not lost since Sept. 30 – a 28-21 defeat to the Bears – that decided home field for this rematch and the Mideastern 4A Conference title.

New Hanover has a six-game winning streak, while New Bern has captured 10 in a row.

Both New Hanover and New Bern have played their best recently.

In the second round, the Bears rushed for 565 yards and scored 38 consecutive points in a 59-21 romp over Fayetteville Cape Fear, which also ran for 312 yards.

The Wildcats beat Southeast Raleigh 41-34 despite playing most of the game without injured linebacker Grayson Lancaster and running back Laquan Chandler.

And receivers Daquan Barnes, Raheim Hewitt and Trevon Brown also were seen limping at times.

Brown still, however, hauled in the game-winning touchdown pass.

"We had a lot of guys banged up," New Hanover coach Kevin Motsinger said afterward. "We had three or four that didn't even play tonight.''


A year ago, the roles were reversed.

South Columbus won the regular-season showdown with East Bladen while winning the Waccamaw Conference by two games.

However, the Eagles beat the Stallions in the playoffs.

This year, East Bladen has a seven-game winning streak, including two shutouts.

The Stallions have captured four in a row since a 36-21 setback to East Bladen, and eight of their past nine.

While it appears both are peaking at the right time, Eagles' coach Lenon Fisher said otherwise.

"Actually we have been kind of up and down," he said. "We played very well against Jordan-Matthews (28-0 Friday), but there were a couple of games at the end of the season we did not play well. We need to be a little more consistent because South Columbus is playing a lot better since we last played them."


It takes five playoff victories for a state championship and Wallace-Rose Hill is two-fifths of the way there following a 45-12 rout of Goldsboro in 1AA.

"I thought intensity-wise you couldn't hit harder than we did," Bulldogs coach Joey Price said. "I thought we played lights-out for a while."

Wallace-Rose Hill (12-1) rushed for 423 yards and committed only one turnover while limiting the Cougars (7-5) to 245 total yards and intercepting a pair of passes.

The Bulldogs, who have won 12 straight playoff games and the past two state titles, host Red Springs (10-2) in the third round.

The Red Devils scored the final 28 points, including 22 in the fourth quarter, in a 42-28 win over James Kenan, spoiling a James-Kenan-Wallace-Rose Hill Tri-County Conference rematch.

Staff writer Powell Latimer contributed to this notebook.