Burlington Cummings' backs were up against the wall Friday night.
Ahead by a slim margin midway through the fourth quarter, the Cavaliers saw their chances of returning to the state 3-A title game slowly slipping away.Eden Morehead, which totally dominated the second half, had driven to the Cavaliers' 10-yard line. A touchdown looked possible; a field goal probable.
But with 6:58 remaining in the contest, Cummings standout Lee Crawford picked off a Jimmy Swain pass and ran 92 yards for a touchdown, allowing the Cavaliers to hold on and edge Morehead 31-21 in the second round of the state playoffs.
Cummings, now 12-0 on the season, will face High Point Andrews next Friday in the state quarterfinals as the Cavaliers continued their march toward a third straight appearance in the state final. The Panthers ended their season at 11-1, the school's best record in 32 years. And Morehead did not go down quietly.
The Panthers, down 23-14 at the half, took it to Cummings in the second half. They were able to slow down the usually potent Cavalier offense and were able to add some passing offense of their own.
``We had them covered in the secondary, but we gave Davis too much time to throw,' said Morehead coach Clayton Johnson. ``We had to put more pressure on him.
``On offense, we were trying to throw at the corners to open up the running game.'
Morehead took advantage of an offside penalty against Cummings to keep a scoring drive alive. Craig Aiken, who had been quiet for much of the game, found a hole up the middle, cut to his right and scored from 19 yards out. Chad Burns' extra point closed the Cummings' lead to 23-21 in the third quarter.
``I wish I knew what Coach Johnson said to his team at halftime,' Cummings coach Dave Gutshall said. ``I need a recording of it.'