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GREENVILLE — Five turnovers sent Fike High reeling to a tough-to-take 38-35 varsity football loss to Greenville Rose on Friday night in the season opener for both teams.
The 3-A Rampants, the preseason projection to win the 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference, bolted to leads of 17-7 at halftime and 24-14 in the third quarter.
However, Fike, forecast to finish fourth in the 3-A Big East Conference, rallied to a 28-24 advantage.
The Golden Demons trailed 31-28 when they committed their last turnover. Fike gained long yardage on a first-down play but fumbled away possession.
Greenville Rose stretched its margin to 38-28 with slightly over a minute remaining.
Fike answered when sophomore quarterback Demari Daniels’ 60-yard bomb to senior Octavius Carpenter set up Daniels’ TD and senior Aaron Bancroft’s kicked extra point.
Bancroft scored Fike’s first TD and Carpenter collected the next two. Curtis Bullock found the end zone on a running play and Daniels added the final TD.
Bancroft converted all five of his extra-point kicks, but the Demons were haunted by Bancroft’s 35-yard field-goal attempt that barely missed late in the first half.
The game kicked off at 6 p.m. in hopes of beating the forecast for inclement weather. However, play was finally completed after a lightning delay of more than an hour.
Fike continues a rugged nonconference schedule at 4-A Rolesville next Thursday at 7 p.m.