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With 13 points in the first quarter and a 27-0 lead at halftime, the Fike High Cyclones took a big step toward defending their state championship from 1967 with a 33-14 win at New Hanover High in Wilmington on Oct. 25, 1968.
Fike clinched a berth in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 4-A football playoffs with the win, which moved the Cyclones’ record to 6-2 overall and 5-2 in the Eastern 4-A Conference.
“It was the game that we knew that had to be won,” Fike head coach Henry Trevathan told Wilson Daily Times sports editor Cliff Turner after the game. “I told the boys that if we didn’t win this one that we would have to hang it up for the season. They knew what I meant. But now you might say a new season has begun for us.”
The Cyclones defense — led by linebackers Stuart Walston and Earl Killebrew and linemen Len Lewis, Dan Killebrew and Al Swain -— produced the second shutout of the season. Fike held the Wildcats to three rushing yards in the first half.
The Cyclones scored on their first drive with senior quarterback John Wooten, who was 5 of 12 for 91 yards, hitting Phil Lamm on the first of two 3-yard touchdown passes. Fike’s second drive was highlighted by a 31-yard run by junior tailback Carlester Crumpler, who finished it with a 4-yard TD run.
Senior fullback Zeke Church’s 3-yard plunge and Earl Killebrew’s second PAT kick gave Fike a 20-0 lead in the second quarter before senior Steve Windham returned a New Hanover punt 32 yards for another score, completing the first-half deluge.
The second Wooten-to-Lamm TD connection gave Fike a 33-0 lead in the fourth quarter before Trevathan emptied his bench. New Hanover scored twice late in the game.
Fike ran for 225 yards with Crumpler (68), Church (42) and backup QB George Wilkerson (52) doing most of the damage. Wilkerson also completed 2-of-6 passes for 25 yards. Crumpler was the Cyclones’ top receiver with three grabs for 46 yards while Lamm had three catches, including the two TDs, for 28 yards.
Fike would return home to Cyclone Country Stadium for its last two regular-season games, including the next one against Raleigh Enloe.