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  • Writer's pictureCCN - Columbus County News

The Wolfpack Advance to the Third Round in the Playoffs

The key to playoff football is to "Survive and Advance". And that's exactly what the Whiteville Wolfpack did Thursday night in a game that was moved up a day, due to expected bad weather from Hurricane Nicole. The first 3 minutes in the game proved to be the difference, as Whiteville defeated Holmes 42-35 in 2nd round action.

On Whiteville's first possession Zay Best raced to the endzone from 20 yards away to give the Pack a 7-0 lead, after Grayson Creech added the first of his 6 extra points on the night with 9:20 left in the first quarter. On Holmes first possession, the Aces fumbled on 2nd down. The fumble was recovered by Nikotis Gordon, and returned 30 yards for the 2nd Wolfpack Touchdown in :15 seconds. Creech's extra point after made the score 14-0 Wolfpack with 9:05 left in the quarter.

With 3:14 left in the first quarter, Whiteville stretched its lead to 21-0 on a 31 yard Touchdown run by JT Todd. The Aces closed the gap to 21-7 with :19 seconds left in the first quarter on a 19 yard Touchdown run by Ireal Hills, along with the extra point. The only score of the 2nd quarter came as time expired on the clock. Quarterback Luke Odham went in from 1 yard out, and Grayson Creech tacked on the extra point, and the Wolfpack stretched their halftime lead to 28-7.

Holmes struck first in the 2nd half on a 3 yard run by Divon Ward, cutting the Wolfpack lead to 28-14 with 7:05 left in the 3rd quarter. With 4:49 left in the 3rd quarter, Luke Odham connected with Cameron McKvian on a 4th and long play. McKvian made a ESPN SportsCenter Top 10 catch, and then raced 57 yards for a Wolfpack Touchdown, giving the Pack a 35-14 lead. Two quick scores by the Aces early in the 4th quarter cut the Wolfpack lead to 35-28. The first score was only 10 seconds into the quarter when quarterback DJ Capehart found a wide-open Jailen Smith on a 33 yard Touchdown pass. The 2nd score came at just a little over 2 minutes later, when Ky Basnight went in from 2 yards out. With 5:38 left in the game, Best scored his 2nd TD of the game on a 14 yard scamper extending the Whiteville lead to 42-28 after Creech's extra point.

The final score of the game came with 1:10 left on the Scoreboard. Capehart threw to Keyshon Tripp for a 14 yard Touchdown accounting for the 42-35 final score. The Pack was able to run the clock out on its final possession. For his performance, Zay Best was named the Kool 103.9 Player of the Game. Number #3 ranked Whiteville will host Number #11 ranked Hertford County next Friday night at historic Legion Stadium.

Story by Frankie Burney Photos by Savanna Elkins

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