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ELON – Top-seeded Western Alamance (13-0) excelled in all facets of the game – offense, defense, special teams – in its 45-14 win against Fike in the second round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3-A football state playoffs Friday night.
The Golden Demons, the No. 8 seed in the East and the runner-up in the Big East Conference, fell behind 42-0. Senior unning back Justin Daniels, who rushed for 100 yards in the game, scored on a nine-yard touchdown run in the third quarter for Fike’s first score. William Kent scored on a 35-yard punt-eturn touchdown. He also had one interception for Fike, which finished 9-4.
Western Alamance will play host to Jacksonville, which defeated Fayetteville Terry Sanford 42-41, next week in the third round with a spot in the East Regional final on the line.
Of its five first-half touchdowns, only one drive began in its own territory, as the defense and special teams set the offense up time and time again in Golden Demons territory.
“I just can’t be more proud of these guys,” Western Alamance coach Jeff Snuffer said. “I thought the first half was a phenomenal effort. We dominated the second half. We had a little lull there, but our guys responded.”
Running back/linebacker Keonte Anilus scored two rushing touchdowns and also had one interception, which he returned 45 yards to the Fike 10-yard line, setting up an easy score for the Warriors.
The first Western Alamance touchdown was set up by Jake Christman, who returned the opening kickoff to the Fike 32-yard line. He scored on a five-yard touchdown run later in the game.
Perry Greeson blocked a Fike field-goal attempt, which Christman returned to the Fike 25-yard line, leading to an eventual touchdown.
“We looked good, against a really good football, in all phases,” Snuffer said. “I thought our special teams was phenomenal. That blocked field goal was a huge momentum switch. Our defense had some big stops. Offense, we’re just clicking right now.”
Quarterback Christian Daniels, who committed to Tulane University on Tuesday, threw for 90 yards and ran for 70 in just one half of action.
Daniels connected with receiver Bradyn Oakley on a 19-yard touchdown pass right before halftime. He also rushed for a score in the first quarter.
With the Warriors leading 35-0, Daniels and the majority of the Western Alamance first-team players were replaced to start the second half.