Bison’s stellar season ends in round two
The High Point Central football team showed a lot of why it was one of the area’s better teams this season. But, in the end, a handful of miscues — plus another strong night by Elijah Hood — were too much to overcome.
Hood, the top-ranked running back in the state and a North Carolina commit, ran for 306 yards and four touchdowns in helping lead No. 4 Charlotte Catholic past the visiting Bison 42-21 on Friday night in the second round of the NCHSAA 4A playoffs.
Central, which finished the season 9-4, was hot and cold for much of the game. For example, junior quarterback Jamiel Mack finished with 93 yards rushing and 218 yards and two TDs on 18-of-34 passing but also threw three interceptions.
Senior Germaine Pratt, an N.C. State commit, also had 74 yards and two TDs receiving and on defense made a handful of outstanding plays, including some nice tackles and a forced fumble on Hood, who, at 6 feet and 221 pounds, was a handful.
But Pratt was flagged for two personal foul penalties during the final drive of the first half for the Cougars (11-2), on which they scored to go up 21-14 at halftime and firmly shifted the momentum when they scored on the opening drive of the second half.
“I was proud of our guys. Our guys played hard,” said Central coach Wayne Jones, noting his team needed to be just a little more effective offensively. “We had a couple plays we’d like to have back. But besides that, they didn’t quit, and they fought hard.”
Although the end of this season was certainly a bitter moment for the Bison, who lose a number of key players like Pratt and UNCC commit Juwan Foggie, it was still a stellar year — particularly in winning a share of its first conference title since 2004.
And they will return several notable players for next season, as they look to use this year as another block upon which to build.
“I felt really good about our season. We had a good turnaround,” Jones said. “We were conference champs for the first time in a long time. So, we have the program moving in the right direction. It’s very exciting We have some young players coming back, and we’re going to do really well.”