Raleigh, North Carolina – There were seven lead changes in Thursday’s second round playoff game between Cardinal Gibbons and Millbrook. With just four touchdowns in the fourth quarter, Millbrook ensured the final change of lead was theirs.
The 12th-seeded Wildcats edged defending NC High School Athletic Association champions 4A 42-30. Millbrook (11-1) will host 13th-seeded Southern Alamance in the third round.
Gibbons (9-3), who had won nine straight games and was seeded fifth, led 27-14 entering the fourth quarter. But two costly turnovers allowed the Wildcats to run away with the game.
Millbrook scored 54 seconds into the fourth on an 8-yard fourth pass from Mason Fortune to David Santiago, then took the lead about two minutes later on a 4-yard run from Xavier Pugh. The short field touchdown was set up by an interception from Ian Rembert, ripping an angled ball through the air, which he returned from around the 20 inside the 10.
Gibbons’ Daniel Monti had a 41-yard field goal to regain the lead one last time for Gibbons, 30-28 with 6:14 to go.
Millbrook then scored on a 6-yard run from Pugh with 2:05 left, then got a scoop and a score as Jayden Ferguson returned a 10-yard fumble after Gibbons mishandled the shotgun blast just 16 seconds later for the final score.
Millbrook – 7:57 1Q – Mason Fortune 40-yard touchdown pass to Ty Broughton, Angel Gomez-Corona XP good (7-0 Millbrook)
Cardinal Gibbons – 3:59 1Q – 3-yard run by Ryan Zieglar, two-run attempt not good (7-6 Millbrook)
Cardinal Gibbons – 11:47 2Q – 27-yard pass from Whitt Newbauer to Landon Lawrence, Daniel Monti XP good (13-6 Gibbons)
Millbrook – 5:50 2Q – Mason Fortune 25-yard pass to Xavier Pugh, Angel Gomez-Corona XP good (14-13 Millbrook)
Cardinal Gibbons – 0:14 2Q – 18-yard pass from Whitt Newbauer to Sam Dodd, Daniel Monti XP good (20-14 Gibbons)
Cardinal Gibbons – 6:41 3Q – 11-yard run by Aiden Smalls, Daniel Monti XP good (27-14 Gibbons)
Millbrook – 11:06 4Q – Mason Fortune 8-yard pass to David Santiago, Angel Gomez-Corona XP good (27-21 Gibbons)
Millbrook – 9:15 4Q – 4-yard run by Xavier Pugh, Angel Gomez-Corona XP good (28-27 Millbrook)
Cardinal Gibbons – 6:14 4Q – 41-yard field goal by Daniel Monti (30-28 Gibbons)
Millbrook – 2:05 4Q – 6-yard run by Xavier Pugh, Angel Gomez-Corona XP good (35-30 Millbrook)
Millbrook – 1:49 4Q – 10-yard fumble return by Jayden Ferguson, Angel Gomez-Corona XP good (42-30 Millbrook)
Heads of Statistics
Assists: Mason Fortune 23-40 assists, 340 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs
Rushing: Xavier Pugh 18 carries, 46 yards, 2 touchdowns; Christopher Newcomb 2 carries, 4 yards; David Santiago 1 rush, -5 yards; Mason Fortune 3 carries, -12 yards
Receiving: Nathan Leacock 8 catches, 144 yards, 1 TD; Xavier Pugh 7 catches, 105 yards; Ty Broughton 7 catches for 103 yards, 1 TD; David Santiago 1 catch, 8 yards, 1 TD
Assists: Whitt Newbauer 14 of 28 passes, 285 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT; Connor Clark Pass 0 of 1
Rushing: Nic Leonard 11 carries, 59 yards; Joey Johnske 1 rush, 16 yards; Aiden Smalls 6 carries, 10 yards, 1 TD; Ryan Zieglar 1 rush, 3 yards, 1 TD; Joshua Stoneking 1 carry, 1 yard; TEAM 1 carries, -5 yards; Whitt Newbauer 3 carries, -7 yards
Reception: Sam Dodd 2 catches, 93 yards, 1 TD; Landon Lawrence 6 catches, 81 yards, 1 TD; Chet Yardley 2 catches, 48 yards; Nic Leonard 3 catches, 10 yards; Nic Lemon 1 catch, 8 yards