Leesville Road’s seniors had never experienced a postseason victory, but Landon Choboy’s big night ensured they’ll get a shot at at least one more.
The Pride cruised by Fuquay-Varina 41-14 on Friday to advance to the second round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4AA football playoffs as Choboy ran for four touchdowns.
Leesville blocked a field goal to end the first half and led 14-7. Then, after scoring on the first drive of the second half, a high kickoff got caught in the wind and dropped short of its original trajectory, allowing the Pride to recover and go on another scoring drive to go up 28-7.
The Pride (8-4) will visit Green Hope (9-2) in the next round. The Falcons had a first-round bye.
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Middle Creek 43, Laney 6: On Thursday, Middle Creek (9-3) forced four turnovers and never looked back against Laney High (7-5) of Wilmington. De’Andre Jones (16 carries, 76 yards) ran in three touchdowns, and Andrew Ihle (18 of 27 passes for 276 yards and two touchdowns) threw two touchdowns to Jordan Mitchell (7 catches, 157 yards).
The Mustangs will travel to Sanderson (8-3) in the next round of the 4AA playoffs.
Pinecrest 50, Athens Drive 19: Pinecrest gained 495 rushing yards to rumble by Athens Drive in the first round of the 4AA playoffs. Patriots junior Zaythan Hill accounted for 255 of those yards and scored three touchdowns, while Alexander Roberts (112 yards) also added three scores. Pinecrest (8-4) will play at No. 3 Garner next week.
The Jaguars (7-5) gained 341 total yards but could not keep pace with the Patriots in the second half. Senior Robert Ruffin passed for 124 yards and threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Josh Jones.
Millbrook 27, Jack Britt 14: The Wildcats scored 20 points in the first quarter alone to pick up the win in Fayetteville. Millbrook (6-6) got two rushing touchdowns from Chris Twitty and two touchdown passes from Connor Jordan (to Tyson Jackson and Shawntay Mills) to down Jack Britt (6-6). Up next, Millbrook travels to defending 4AA champ Wake Forest, which had a first-round bye.
Knightdale 20, Overhills 18: Knightdale (7-5) notched its third playoff victory in school history by taking down the Jaguars (8-4) of Harnett County. Kenny McCray ran for one score and threw for two to lead the Knights into a second-round 4A game with South Central (9-2), which had a first-round bye. Trevor Inniss ran for 123 yards and a score in the loss.
Heritage 34, Purnell Swett 13: N.C. State recruit Ricky Person found the end zone four times on the night and eclipsed the 2,000-yard mark on the season to lead the Huskies (11-1) by the Rams (5-7) and into the second round of the 4A playoffs.
This sets up a second-round showdown with Heritage visiting undefeated Cardinal Gibbons (11-0).
Seventy-First 23, Jordan 13: The Falcons from Durham fell at home in the first round of the 4A playoffs to the Falcons from Fayetteville. Jordan placekicker Conor MacDougall split the uprights from 26 and 43 yards in the first period, and wide receiver Joaquin Davis made a leaping, fingertip touchdown reception between two defenders on a 9-yard pass from Miller with 30 seconds remaining in the third period.
Jordan (6-6) defenders J’Nai Francis and Saleh Abdul-Mateen recovered fumbles, and Jordan put up a goal-line stand at its own 1-yard line to deny a final Seventy-First (9-3) touchdown.
Clayton 42, Northwood 10: Clayton remained unbeaten as the top seed in the 3AA playoffs as the Comets (12-0) defeated visiting Northwood (7-5).
Clayton quarterbacks Austin Cagle and Sawyer Worrell combined to throw for 260 yards and four touchdown passes. N.C. State-bound Devin Carter caught three balls for 57 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Trevaun Richardson finished with 12 carries for 101 yards and a touchdown.
Clayton led 28-0 before the Chargers scored 10 points in the second quarter. Brendan Harrington caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Alex Parker and Lupe Alverado booted a 31-yard field goal.
Cleveland 53, Northern Durham 10: Cleveland’s defense set the tone early and the Rams offense never missed a beat in a stunning 3AA first round playoff win. Rams junior quarterback Darius Ocean returned from an injury to toss four touchdown passes, including three in the first half, as the 8-seed Rams (8-4) led 27-3 at halftime.
Another junior, running back Tyson Dew, caught one touchdown pass and rushed for three more. He picked up 167 yards on 29 carries. Northern (8-3) could only muster up 127 yards, with 119 of those coming on the Knights’ two scoring drives. Cleveland will visit conference rival Clayton in the second round.
More 3AA/3A: It was a bad night for the Big Eight Conference as Hillside (5-6) lost 31-12 at Eastern Guilford (10-2) in the 3AA playoffs and a banged-up Orange (8-3) team lost 44-6 at home to Cape Fear (9-3). Lee County (12-0) shut out its ninth opponent, topping Ben L. Smith (5-7) 40-0, and D.H. Conley broke its own NCHSAA record for most points through 12 games in a 59-10 win over Northern Guilford (6-6). Conley (11-1) has 653 points and had 602 last year.
In 3A, Triton (6-6), Rocky Mount (4-7) and Eastern Wayne (6-5) fell, leaving only Fike (9-3) and Southern Nash (11-1) left in the bracket from the PrepsNow area.
2AA/2A roundup: In the 2AA playoffs, Nash Central (10-2) will hit the road in the second round while South Granville (12-0) is at home. Bunn (8-4) was eliminated. In 2A, Greene Central (8-4) won its first playoff game since 2005 by avenging a regular-season loss to Kinston (9-3). Beddingfield (8-4), SouthWest Edgecombe (10-2) also advanced, and Goldsboro (6-6) and Ayden-Grifton (6-6) also fell.
1AA/1A roundup: For the second straight year, Princeton (7-5) got into a shootout with Williamston’s Riverside High (7-5), this time in regulation. The Bulldogs fell 70-51 on Friday, but won last year’s game 70-64 in four overtimes. Rosewood (5-7) and North Edgecombe (4-7) also fell.
Dan E. Way, Dave Malenick, David Justice and Tom Shanahan contributed.
8-Jack Britt vs. 9-Millbrook (won 27-14)
5-Middle Creek (won 43-6) vs. 12-Laney
6-Pinecrest (won 50-19) vs. 11-Athens Drive
7-Leesville Road (won 41-14) vs. 10-Fuquay-Varina
8-Jordan vs. 9-Seventy-First (won 23-13)
5-Overhills vs. 12-Knightdale (won 20-18)
6-Heritage (won 34-13) vs. 11-Purnell Swett
7-Ragsdale vs. 10-South View (won 38-35)
1-Clayton (won 42-10) vs. 16-Northwood
8-Cleveland (won 53-10) vs. 9-Northern Durham
4-Eastern Guilford (won 31-12) vs. 13-Hillside
5-D.H. Conley (won 59-10) vs. 12-Northern Guilford
3-Lee County (won 40-0) vs. 14-Ben L. Smith
6-Orange vs. 11-Cape Fear (won 44-6)
2-New Hanover (won 55-21) vs. 15-West Brunswick
7-Southeast Guilford vs. 10-Dudley (won 21-13)
1-Western Alamance (won 59-20) vs. 16-Eastern Wayne
8-Fike (won 30-14) vs. 9-Triton
4-Terry Sanford (won 36-16) vs. 13-Rocky Mount
5-Jacksonville (won 56-22) vs. 12-Northside (Jacksonville)
3-Southern Nash (won 76-12) vs. 14-Westover
6-Eastern Alamance (won 20-13) vs. 11-Northeast Guilford
2-Havelock (won 56-7) vs. 15-Williams
7-E.E. Smith (won 44-14) vs. 10-West Carteret
1-East Duplin (won 54-14) vs. 16-St. Pauls
8-Bunn vs. 9-West Stokes (won 24-19)
4-Randleman (won 43-7) vs. 13-Roanoke Rapids
5-Nash Central (won 41-7) vs. 12-T.W. Andrews
3-South Granville (won 41-21) vs. 14-Washington
6-West Craven (won 28-7) vs. 11-Richlands
2-North Davidson (won 52-18) vs. 15-Forest Hills
7-Ledford (won 21-14) vs. 10-Anson County
1-Northeastern (won 55-0) vs. 16-Bertie
8-First Flight vs. 9-Clinton (won 21-15)
4-Beddingfield (won 23-12) vs. 13-Farmville Central
5-Wallace-Rose Hill (won 42-3) vs. 12-Ayden-Grifton
3-Southwest Onslow (won 35-6) vs. 14-Goldsboro
6-SouthWest Edgecombe (won 34-13) vs. 11-Hertford County
2-East Bladen (won 39-33) vs. 15-James Kenan
7-Kinston vs. 10-Greene Central (won 28-6)
8-Riverside (Williamston) (won 70-51) vs. 9-Princeton
5-West Montgomery (won 58-0) vs. 12-Rosewood
6-Lakewood (won 54-0) vs. 11-Pender
7-Manteo (won 35-13) vs. 10-Gates County
8-Southside (won 20-0) vs. 9-Northside (Pinetown)
5-Pamlico County (won 40-8) vs. 12-Albemarle
6-Plymouth (won 38-8) vs. 11-North Edgecombe
7-Southeast Halifax (won 14-7) vs. 10-South Creek
NCISAA 2A 8-man title
1-Rocky Mount Academy at 2-Arendell Parrott (late Saturday)