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If there were any doubts the Fike High varsity football team was a state title contender in 1967, the Cyclones laid them to rest on Friday, Oct. 13, with an impressive 14-6 victory over previously unbeaten Durham in Fleming Stadium.
The victory was Fike’s fifth straight after an opening loss on its way to the first of its three consecutive North Carolina High School Athletic Association 4-A championships. The win sent the Cyclones to the top of the Eastern 4-A Conference and tumbled the Bulldogs from their perch as the top-ranked team in the state — the second No. 1 outfit to lose to Fike in three weeks.
Defense again was key for Fike, which held Durham to eight rushing yards and one first down in the second half and after giving up 109 yards on the ground in the first half.
“Until we study the films,” Cyclones defensive coordinator Dave Everett told Wilson Daily Times sports editor David Lamm, “I can’t name one standout, but 11 or 12 instead. We had some trouble against Durham’s running game in the first half but none at all in the second half.”
The Cyclones got all the points they would need in the first quarter when zenior quarterback Lynn Daniell hit classmate Harold Wilkerson with a 9-yard touchdown pass and Wilkerson added the extra-point kick. The Bulldogs answered in the second quarter but failed to convert the PAT kick.
Fike simply dominated the second half, running 34 plays to just 13 by Durham. The biggest play was a 63-yard scoring run by sophomore Carlester Crumpler, the Cyclones’ emerging star who ran for 156 of their 172 rushing yards. Daniell was brilliant in the pocket, completing 8-of-13 passes for 107 yards. Zeke Church caught three of those aerials for 34 yards.
As big as the victory was for Fike, the schedule didn’t get any easier as a trip to archrival Goldsboro loomed the following Friday.