Prep Football Roundup: Patriots edge Cougars for key PAC win with late drive

Providence Grove’s Caleb Rogers runs the ball against visiting Southwestern Randolph during a 40-34 victory in a PAC game at Climax on October 22, 2021. PJ WARD-BROWN/NORTH STATE JOURNAL

CLIMAX – Providence Grove struck the final and most decisive blows to pull out a 40-34 victory against visiting Southwestern Randolph in a key Piedmont Athletic Conference football clash Friday night.

The Patriots used a 96-yard drive after recovering a fourth-quarter fumble for the go-ahead points.

“We were resilient and kept on fighting and found a way,” Providence Grove coach Calvin Brown said.

The outcome means that Providence Grove (7-2, 3-1 PAC) will secure second place in the conference, yet that Patriots will be the league’s No. 1 seed for the Class 2-A state playoffs because league champion Eastern Randolph is slated for Class 1-A. The Wildcats are the only 1-A team in the Piedmont Athletic Conference.

Southwestern Randolph’s Easton Clapp runs for a first down against Providence Grove during a PAC game. PJ WARD-BROWN/NORTH STATE JOURNAL

A reversal of Friday night’s outcome would have had Southwestern Randolph (7-2, 2-2) in that coveted spot.

“It’s a tough one to swallow,” Southwestern Randolph coach Seth Baxter said. “I felt like we had our chances. This hurts about as much as any I’ve had. … I feel like we did good enough to win. We made two turnovers and they made zero.”

Southwestern Randolph’s Bryson Reid makes the catch and scores a touchdown against Providence Grove during a PAC game October 22, 2021. PJ WARD-BROWN/NORTH STATE JOURNAL

Providence Grove’s Caleb Rogers ran for 108 yards on 23 carries with a touchdown and racked up 115 receiving yards. That was more than half of quarterback Luke Thomas’ 212 passing yards.

“Rogers and Thomas were dynamite,” Baxter said.

Chase Whitaker scored on each of his four carries for Providence Grove.

The Patriots were playing their third game in an eight-night span. They won the final two of those after a loss at Eastern Randolph.

Providence Grove assistant coach Grant Handy lifts running back Caleb Rogers in the air after a 40-34 victory against Southwestern Randolph earned the Patriots the top Class 2-A seed from the league to the state playoffs. PJ WARD-BROWN/NORTH STATE JOURNAL

“We’re a good football team and we’re going to continue to get better,” Brown said.

For Southwestern Randolph, Easton Clapp ran for two touchdowns as part of a 14-carry, 114-yard rushing outing. Keaton Reed had a rushing touchdown and threw to Bryson Reid for a touchdown. Adam Cole returned a kickoff 65 yards for a touchdown as the Cougars built a 27-25 lead.

Even with a 34-25 edge, Southwestern Randolph couldn’t hang on.

Eastern Randolph 60, Wheatmore 0: At Ramseur, Na’hiem Lilly scored four touchdowns as the host Wildcats clinched the PAC championship.

Eastern Randolph (8-0, 4-0), which led 53-0 at halftime, secured its first shutout of the season.

Malachi Letterlough, Elias Alston, Delonte Glover and Landon Loflin were also credited with touchdowns. Two of those came on Stratton Barwick passes. Linebacker John Maness returned an interception for a touchdown.

Wheatmore (3-5, 0-4) has failed to score more than 14 points in its four league games.

Randleman 25, Trinity 14: At Trinity, Evrodd Cassady ran for three touchdowns and a two-point conversion for the visiting Tigers (4-5, 2-2).

Cassady finished with 137 rushing yards on 25 carries. His touchdown runs came from 6, 19 and 1 yards out. Chris Gentry added a 30-yard field goal and was 2-for-2 on extra-point kicks.

Trinity (4-5, 1-3) scored the first and final touchdowns. Dominic Payne threw 19 yards to Landon Carter for the game’s first points and followed that with a two-point conversion pass to Jason Brown. The last points came on Payne’s 13-yard run for the only points in the fourth quarter. Payne threw for 105 yards and rushed for 66 yards.

Ledford 42, Asheboro 7: At Asheboro, the host Blue Comets dropped their home finale, falling to 0-5 at Lee J. Stone Stadium.

Asheboro (1-8, 0-4 Mid-Piedmont Conference) gave up 14 points in each of the first three quarters. Ledford (7-2, 2-2) benefited from two touchdowns by Alex Sanford and two touchdown passes by Nathan Carr.

***********************************************

Final week of regular season

Wednesday night’s game

Asheboro at Montgomery Central, 7

Friday night’s games

Eastern Randolph at Randleman, 7:30

Providence Grove at Wheatmore, 7:30

Trinity at Southwestern Randolph, 7:30

By Moore County Staff

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