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The Fayetteville Observer

Seventy-First football continues to flex, winning big at Gray's Creek

By Monica Holland, Fayetteville Observer,


Every week of this football season has given Seventy-First another opportunity to flex.

And the Falcons came through again Thursday, defeating Gray’s Creek 55-7 in a game rescheduled from Friday due to a storm system developing off the coast .

Deandre Nance accounted for five touchdowns – three passing, two running – and Jayson Franklin piled up 180 yards and a pair of TDs on 19 carries to keep Seventy-First (5-0, 2-0 United 8) undefeated.

The Bears (3-2, 0-2) came into Thursday’s game after their only loss of the season thus far, and by only three points to then-undefeated Purnell Swett.

Led by Cumberland County’s leading rusher Javon Webb, Gray’s Creek was thwarted at every turn by the Falcons defense.

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Webb found his footing after halftime and finished with 79 yards rushing and the Bears’ only touchdown – well below his average of 170 yards per game.

But that's what the Falcons do. Ranked No. 3 in the state by MaxPreps , Seventy-First has routinely dismantled every opponent it has faced this season without so much as a flinch.

A chunk of talent from last season's squad that got within a game of the state championship was lost to graduation, but the Falcons' foundation is always strong.

"We lost some good players to graduation, but these guys are hungry," Coach Duran McLaurin said after last week's win at South View.

"This is Seventy-First: We’re trying to maintain the winning tradition we have with the program here."

Games like Thursday's give McLaurin the opportunity to let his younger players see game action, further strengthening his team's future.

Freshman Shon Pone wound up with 35 yards rushing and a TD, and sophomore Jayden Jones added 51 yards on just three carries.

Jaydyn Surgeon got in on the scoring with a touchdown of his own on a 9-yard reception, as did Melik Thomas and Zayvion Hill, who scored on catches of 26 and 12 yards, respectively.

The Falcons chewed up 407 yards rushing as a team, with 113 passing for a total of 520 to Gray's Creek's 143, all of which came on the ground.

Seventy-First faces another challenge next week as it hosts Cape Fear (4-1, 2-0). The Bears play at Douglas Byrd (0-5, 0-2).

This article originally appeared on The Fayetteville Observer: Seventy-First football continues to flex, winning big at Gray's Creek

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