Prep Football: Capuano's big night gets Spartans by Panthers
Ledford held a lead for 47 minutes and 18 seconds over Central Davidson Friday night at Spartan Community Stadium. The North Carolina High School Athletic Association does not award wins for holding an advantage the longest.
Getting a key return from Brandon Capuano, the Spartans were able to sneak into the end zone in the final minute, overtaking the Panthers and stealing a 32-28 Mid-Piedmont Conference victory. All set up by Capuano's second big burst of the night.
Earlier in the game the return specialist ripped off a 90-yard kick return for a touchdown. This one was shorter, and came at a time the Spartans needed some good field position.
Ledford was in position to win after Edgar Deras booted a 32-yard field goal with 1:51 to play, breaking a tie and putting LHS in front, 28-25.
With a slow, methodical offense that is tightly packed, the Spartans would have been at a huge disadvantage with a long field and less than two minutes to go. Capuano eased those concerns.
He received the kick at his own 13 and sprinted down to Ledford's 30. Five plays later, Chris Moore found Christian Pompey on a fade route in the corner of the end zone from 10 yards out. It was a fitting end to a wild night of football.
“We cannot go the length of the football field in our offense in under two minutes,” said Central head coach Chad Tedder. “It is very difficult for us to do that. So I am going take my hat off to Capuano for the long dang touchdown run in the first half, and then the dang long one that got us across midfield. That return was big.”
Chris Adams knew that coverage on the kickoff would be important. A deep kick covered quickly would likely win the game. It just was not meant to be.
“All we had to do was cover the kid and pin them deep,” Adams said. “With what they do offensively that plays to our advantage, but we let them have the big return.”
The game had blowout written all over it in the first three minutes. LHS turned two turnovers into a George Melvin touchdown and Dalton Harris score.
Central (3-3, 2-2) took care of the ball from then on, and narrowed the gap to five by halftime.
“We let our guard down at the wrong time,” said Adams. “We get off to that big lead and have opportunities to put them away. But we let them get back in it.”
Late in the third quarter, Ledford's defense came up with a big defensive stand, stopping the Spartans on three straight plays from the 1. The ball was turned over on downs, but Central tackled Harris in the end zone for a safety to make it 25-22.
A six minute drive by the Panthers set up the Deras field goal in the fourth quarter.
“Every night in this league is going to be like this,” said Adams. “A lot of times it will boil down to a play or two or a special teams mistake. We have got to learn from it.”
Notes: LHS quarterback Bubba White sat out the game with a severe bruise to his knee. He had an MRI done Wednesday that determined nothing in his leg was torn … Melvin had 131 yards on 14 carries … Ledford slips to 1-1 in the MPC, 4-2 overall.