SHELBY, N.C. – All eyes in Cleveland County were fixed on Crest High School Friday night as rivals Shelby and Crest met on the gridiron.
The Golden Lions completed an 11-0 campaign by holding off the hard-charging Chargers 21-19.
Defense ruled the day throughout the first three quarters. The Golden Lions held a 6-0 edge on two Ethan Triplett field goals late in the first half before quarterback Malik Surratt was dragged down by two Crest defenders, fumbling in the process. Crest linebacker Devyon McClain pounced on the loose ball, setting up the Chargers with a short field as the second quarter wound down.
Crest punched it in from a yard out with a little over a minute left in the half, but the extra point sailed wide, leaving the score knotted up at six.
After Shelby jumped out to a 21-6 lead, the Chargers began their rally, drawing within two points on a 64-yard Cameron Peeler touchdown run. Crests’ two-point conversion attempt was batted down, and the Golden Lions recovered an onside kick and preserved the two-point win.