• Kurt Ward

Cummings Loses to Washington 48-40

BURLINGTON – In a game that the winning coach admitted “could have gone either way,” visiting Washington secured at 48-40 second-round state 2-A playoff victory over Cummings Friday night.

Cummings twice battled back from a two-touchdown deficit to tie the game; however, Washington’s offensive changes in the second half proved to be too much for the Cavaliers, who finished the season 9-2-1.

After running a spread offense for much of the first half and playing to a 34-26 halftime advantage, the Washington Pam Pack opened the second half in a T-formation and ran what Coach Perry Owens called “a gun triple-team” offense.

The change meant the Pam Pack (10-2) controlled the clock for much of the third quarter.

It didn’t however, prevent the Cummings Cavaliers from re-tying the score at 34-34 when senior receiver Mori Farrell pulled down his fourth TD catch of the night. All of Farrell’s TD receptions came on jump-ball type plays in the left corner of the end zone.

“We’ve been working on the jump ball, working on catching the ball at the high point of the jump,” Cummings coach David Grimm said. “Tonight, that worked out well for us.”

Owens’ called Farrell’s catches “Randy Moss like” referring to the former NFL receiver who still holds the NFL single-season touchdown reception record nine years after his retirement.

With the game knotted 34-34 entering the final period, Washington made the most of its fourth-quarter chances. The Pam Pack pieced together a 10-play, 55-yard drive to go ahead 40-34 with 10:14 to play. Sophomore Gary Payne, who carried the ball only three times all night, scored the go-ahead score from two yards out to give Washington a 40-34 lead.

The Washington defense stopped Cummings on the ensuing drive and took over on its own 35-yard-line. Seven plays later, the Pam Pack moved ahead 48-34 with a 15-yard run from Kentari Gibbs-Leathers followed by a two-point conversion run by him as well. That score came with 1:41 left to play.

Dylantae James returned the ensuing kick-off 64 yards to keep the Cavaliers’ hopes alive. Quarterback Zion Crawley scored on the next play from 17 yards out to pull the Cavs to within 8, 48-40, with 1:26 to play.

Washington was able to run out the clock by taking a knee on three straight offensive plays.

“I’m real proud of the fight in this team,” Grimm said. “We’ve always fought real hard, and that was true tonight as well. We just had too many mental mistakes, too many penalties and it finally caught up with us.”

Cummings committed 10 penalties for 85 yards in the first half. Many of those mistakes stalled drives or gave Washington extra yardage.

For the game, Washington racked up 430 yards of total offense, 347 of which came from the ground. Terry Moore, a Duke signee, led all rushers with 157 yards on 24 carries. He scored two rushing touchdowns and another on the return of a fumble recovery.

Moore’s fumble return for a touchdown came near the end of the first half and was part of a high-scoring second quarter. He stripped quarterback Crawley of the ball in the backfield, scooped up the fumble and ran untouched into the end zone.

In that second quarter, Moore scored on runs of 13 and 36 yards, and teammate William Reid pulled in a 50-yard pass from QB Hayes Pippin.

Three of Farrell’s TD catches came in that second quarter as well, which prevented Washington from pulling away.

Pippen had a 100-yard rushing night, carrying the ball 17 times for 120 yards and scoring once on an 11-yard run.

Jonathan Paylor led Cummings with 45 rushing yards and 99 yards receiving.

Farrell’s receptions totaled 90 receiving yards.

With the win, Washington advances to face Northeastern next week in Elizabeth City.

The game was the final high school football contest for 14 of Cummings’ seniors.

“While this hurts, we still accomplished a lot this year,” Grimm said. “We took a 2-9 team from two years ago and we won the conference championship and advanced to the second round of the state playoffs. I’m real proud of the guys.”

Washington 7 27 0 14 - 48

Cummings 6 20 8 6 - 40

Cummings – Jonathan Paylor 8-yard run (run failed), 11:05 remaining in the first

Washington – Hayes Pippin 11-yard run (Ridge Zerniak kick), 7:56 remaining in the first

Washington – Terry Moore 13-yard run (kick failed), 5:56 remaining in the second

Washington – Moore 36-yard run (Zerniak kick), 4:36 remaining in the second

Cummings – Mori Farrell 25-yard pass from Zion Crawley (Rodriguez Cheeley kick), 4:18 remaining in the second

Cummings – Farrell 34-yard pass from Crawley (Cheeley kick), 2:46 remaining in the second

Washington – Moore 24-yard fumble return (Zerniak kick), 1:27 remaining in the second

Washington – William Reid 50-yard pass from Pippin (Zerniak kick), 0:40 remaining in the second

Cummings – Farrell 13-yard pass from Crawley (kick failed), 0:00 remaining in the second

Cummings – Farrell 18-pass from Crawley (Paylor run), 2:22 remaining in the third

Washington – Gary Payne 2-yard run (kick failed), 10:14 remaining in the fourth

Washington – Kentari Gibbs-Leathers 15-yard run (Gibbs-Leathers run), 1:41 remaining in the fourth

Cummings – Crawley 17-yard run (kick failed), 1:26 remaining in the fourth

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