WEAVERVILLE — When members of this year’s North Buncombe football team get together for reunions down the road, they’ll be able to reflect back on the time they won two games in 98 hours.
The first came on Monday at McDowell, a 32-21 win in a game that had been postponed last Friday because of heavy rain.
The second came Friday night when the Black Hawks wasted most of a 17-point lead but found the intestinal fortitude to hold on for a 27-24 win over Roberson in a Mountain Athletic Conference game.
“This was a great accomplishment,” said Dillon Robinson, one of the defensive players who helped keep Roberson (2-5, 1-1) out of the end zone in the final minutes.
“It was a big hurdle to overcome but we got through it. I was exhausted but my teammates were out there too and I wanted to do it for them.”
The Rams drove from their 32 to the North Buncombe 26, but then gained just two yards on three plays as the Black Hawks defenders dug deep. On fourth down Roberson’s Cooper Graham, who had made a 33-yard field goal just before halftime, was wide right on a 41-yard attempt.
North Buncombe took over and ran out the clock to improve to 4-4 overall and 3-0 in the MAC.
“Whew, that was tough, especially against teams like T.C. and McDowell that are so physical,” said North Buncombe coach Curtis Cagle, whose team has a bye next Friday and won’t practice again until Tuesday.
“Our kids sucked it up, they played hard and they did not quit. I can;t say enough about our kids, I really can’t. It was just an unbelievable job by them.”
The Black Hawks never trailed and built a 27-10 lead on a 6-yard run by Colby Maltry with 10:36 to go in the third quarter.
From there the Rams fought back and took advantage of the tired legs of the North Buncombe players. Dezmond Moorman scored on a 1-yard run and Denzel Summer took a 32-yard pass from Eric Robinson and crossed the goal line to cut the lead to 27-24 later in the third quarter.
The game was sloppy from there as penalties hurt the flow of the game. Twenty were called, seven on North Buncombe and 13 on Roberson.
“They’re a good football team, I have all the respect in the world for them,” said Roberson coach Chris Deal. “And I have all the respect in the world for my kids and how they fought back.”
Moorman also scored a touchdown in the first half and finished with 154 yards on 20 carries for Roberson.
Chase Parker completed 14-of-25-passes for North Buncombe and threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to junior receiver Blake Mathews, who scored four touchdowns in the win over McDowell. Mathews had three receptions for 109 yards and also returned two kicks for a total of 83 yards.
Kicker Tommy Apostolopoulos kicked field goals of 45 and 36 yards and Ricky Thrash scored North Buncombe’s other touchdown by recovering a fumble in the end zone.
“He’s a freak, nobody can stop him, he’s so good,” Parker said of Mathews. “He’s the best athlete on the field.”
Mathews said he was proud of his team for what they accomplished this week.
“We knew it was going to be tough,” he said. “But I knew we’d pull this out because all of the hearts on this team are so big.”