Southwestern Randolph’s Eli Gravely makes a catch over Randleman’s Jozey Akines. PJ WARD-BROWN/NORTH STATE JOURNAL
Southwestern Randolph hits seven wins as Cole collects school TD mark
RANDLEMAN — It took a record-breaking performance for Southwestern Randolph to win its latest football game.
And that could mean more records for the Cougars this season.
Southwestern Randolph overcame host Randleman for a 28-23 victory Friday night.
Junior receiver Adam Cole scored two touchdowns to set the single-season school record for victories.
The Cougars (7-1, 2-1 Piedmont Athletic Conference) have matched the school record for wins. They’ll try to break that in Friday night’s showdown at Providence Grove.
It took plenty to defeat Randleman, which built a 10-0 lead.
The Tigers (3-5, 1-2) have been on a conference championship run in recent seasons. They brought a three-game winning streak into this matchup.
“Randleman has been a dominant force in Randolph County,” Baxter said.
Randleman had racked up points on Chris Gentry field goals of 40, 37 and 44 yards. There also was Micah Thurston’s 25-yard touchdown run for the Tigers.
Baxter said the coaching staff challenged the players at halftime.
“That little fork in the road, got to make a decision,” he said. “Am I going to step up and be different now or I’m going to go back to what I’ve done in the past. And our kids responded.”
Before the half, Cole scored on a pair of pass plays. One came on a hook and lateral, with quarterback Keaton Reed throwing to Bryson Reid, who flipped the ball to Cole on the play for 58 yards.
“They got us a couple of times,” Randleman coach Shane Timmons said. “Kids made great plays. … We didn’t make enough plays to win the game. Couldn’t make enough of those plays.”
In the second half, Southwestern Randolph turned to a consistent ground attack. It eventually paid off.
Running back Easton Clapp scored touchdowns on runs of 7 and 2 yards. He also ran in a two-point conversion.
Randleman countered with quarterback Christian Long’s 2-yard touchdown run.
Southwestern Randolph quarterback Keaton Reed finished 7-for-11 for 150 yards. Clapp racked up 155 yards on 17 carries.
Cole’s touchdowns eclipsed a school record of 19 TDs – and he did so in just eight games.
“I’m glad he’s on my team,” Baxter said. “He’s electric in the open field.”
Randleman’s Evrodd Cassady gained 108 yards on 28 carries. Long was 10-for-19 for 84 yards.
Eastern Randolph 38, Providence Grove 16: At Ramseur, Na’hiem Lilly racked up 180 rushing yards, with three touchdown runs and another touchdown catch.
Stratton Barwick threw for 230 yards as the Wildcats (7-0, 3-0) rolled to the home victory. Jake Fesmire also had a touchdown.
Eastern Randolph led 24-8 at halftime. Malachi Letterlough added 84 rushing yards.
For Providence Grove, Luke Thomas threw for 174 yards with touchdowns, making touchdown passes to Zander Cheek and Lemel Coltrane – the latter on a 61-yard play.
Providence Grove led 8-0 after Thomas’s 12-yard pass to Cheek, who ran in the two-point conversion.
Trinity 35, Wheatmore 14: Trinity won for the third time in four games in Friday’s rivalry game, avenging a loss from the spring season.
Among the big plays was David Makupson’s 77-yard pass to Bo Gibson. Gibson also was credited with an 83-yard kickoff return.
For Wheatmore (3-4, 0-3), Jake Haynes threw for a touchdown and ran for a touchdown.
North Davidson 47, Asheboro 0: At Lexington, the Blue Comets went on the road and suffered their first shutout of the season. It marked the seventh consecutive loss for Asheboro (1-7, 0-3 Mid-Piedmont Conference).
Wheatmore at Eastern Randolph, 7:30
Southwestern Randolph at Providence Grove, 7:30
Randleman at Trinity, 7:30
Ledford at Asheboro, 7:30