Cardinal Gibbons High School of Raleigh remained undefeated through coach Steven Wright’s 13 home openers with a 35-31 win over Jordan. The Crusaders scored the game-winning touchdown on quarterback Whitt Newbauer’s 16-yard pass to Chet Yardley with four seconds remaining.
The outcome etched for Yardley a unique place in Crusaders lore. Yardley’s final touchdown catch — in arguably the most dramatic finish ever on Cardinal Gibbons’ Edwards Mill Road campus — began a senior year that will culminate with his graduation from the school on the 30th anniversary of his father Jeff’s graduation from the same school.
Jeff Yardley was Cardinal Gibbons’ captain when the Crusaders resurrected their football program in 1992. Cardinal Gibbons, then located off of Western Boulevard (without a football stadium), played its home games at Athens Drive. The elder Yardley was named the school’s 1993-94 Male Athlete Of The Year, and inducted into the Cardinal Gibbons Athletics Hall Of Fame in 2018.
The 2023-24 school year marks Cardinal Gibbons’ 25th anniversary at its Edwards Mill Road campus.
Ravenscroft wins new coach’s debut
Ravenscroft coach Jim Gibbons told his wife Liz that she and their three children — Ravenscroft students Libby, Weezie, and Ward — had to stay until the end of the Ravens’ home opener. Ravenscroft defeated Granville Central 49-2 before the clock struck 9 p.m. Thereafter, Gibbons got his picture-perfect moment.
The new head coach, having completed his postgame media obligations, returned to the field for a family photograph following his landmark milestone. Gibbons is enjoying is first stint as a head coach after 33 seasons (15 at Ravenscroft) as an assistant. He is doing so at the school where Liz (whose maiden name is Burnette) was a standout on the Ravens’ 1994 women’s soccer and 1995-96 women’s basketball state championship teams, and is a member of the school’s Sports Hall Of Fame.
The first touchdown of the Gibbons era came on a 1-yard run by Corey Felton with 5:32 remaining in the first quarter. Ravenscroft added a defensive touchdown in the opening period when Pierce Davidian returned an interception 30 yards for a score.
Rolesville earns signature win
Rolesville’s 21-19 win over visiting Butler affirmed the Rams’ expectations to be in the 4A East’s mix for a state final berth. Early season visits to Wake County by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools are rare. Even rarer — historically, at least — are these on-field outcomes for Wake County Schools.
Rolesville used a post-halftime “thunder-and-lightning” sequence for its last two touchdowns. Rams running back Devin Thomas’ 21-yards scoring scamper preceded cornerback Cameron Mobley’s 30-yards pick-six return.
Rolesville will have another statement opportunity next Friday when the Rams visit Grimsley of Greensboro, the spring 2021 4A state champion.
Montague runs, passes for Clayton
Jonathan Montague threw two touchdown passes and ran for three touchdowns to lift Clayton to a 54-42 win over visiting Wake Forest.
Montague’s 12-yards scoring pass to Deon Harris gave the Comets 47 points in the fourth quarter. What proved to be the game-winning score came one Clayton possession after Montague scampered 62 yards to the end zone.
Hillside of Durham wins opener
Visiting Hillside defeated Panther Creek, 20-12, in the Hornets’ first game under coach Torrey Nowell.
Nowell arrived at the Durham school after leading New Bern to last season’s N.C. 4A state title.
Tarboro efficient in shutout
N.C. 1A state runner-up Tarboro appears poised for another title pursuit, if the Vikings’ 42-0 shutout of rival Rocky Mount is any indication.
Tarboro averaged eight rushing yards per carry as a team. Mason Satterfield, a 5-10, 185-pound junior, is the eldest among the Vikings’ perpetually strong offensive backfield. Satterfield tallied 11 carries for 114 yards and a touchdown Friday.