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Friday the 13th of September, 1968, was not an unlucky day for the Fike High varsity football team.
The Cyclones, the defending North Carolina High School Athletic Association 4-A champions, shut down host Fayetteville 14-0 for the first of what would be 11 victories that season. It was quite a turnaround from Fike’s 9-0 loss at Winston-Salem Reynolds in the season opener two weeks earlier.
“We got our heads together in this game,” Fike head coach Henry Trevathan told Wilson Daily Times sports editor Cliff Turner. “They looked like a different ball club than the one that played Winston-Salem two weeks ago. Our blocking was so much better, our secondary was outstanding and the offense — well it was an outstanding performance by everyone.”
Senior Larry Barnes led the defense with four of Fike’s six pass interceptions while classmate and co-captain Zeke Church carried the offense, running for 114 yards and a touchdown on 24 rushes.
The Cyclones got all the points they would need when junior Carlester Crumpler capped a 62-yard, 11-play drive with a 5-yard scoring run, part of his 67-yard rushing total, in the second quarter.
The second score came after senior linebacker Earl Killebrew’s interception and 12-yard return to the Bulldogs’ 38. Eight plays later, Church bulled over from the 1 and Killebrew booted his second extra point.
Fayetteville only completed two of its 17 pass attempts as the Fike secondary of Barnes, Steve Windham, George Wilkerson and Phil Lamm provided frequent interruptions. In addition to the six passes picked off, the Bulldogs lost a pair of fumbles to Fike, further ensuring their fate.
Overall, Trevathan was delighted with the play of everyone who stepped on the field that night.
“It’s great when you can have several men on a ball club that are standouts,” he said. “It gives incentive to the others but when you have a whole ball club that sparkles like a 24-carat diamond — well there’s liable to be a diamond mine close by.”