Hunter Blair followed the Highlander line into the end zone for a thrilling 20-14 overtime victory over Sullivan North on Friday night.
Cloudland finishes the regular season with a 5-5 record after starting the year 1-4, while North also finishes at 5-5.
The ‘Lander defense came up big as the Golden Raiders were unable to gain a yard on the opening overtime possession. Triston Lacy opened the the CHS period with a strong 8-yard run.
The Raiders snuffed out a run on the next Cloudland play. However, Blair and company weren’t going to be denied on the next play as the senior scored on a 1-yard run.
CLOUDLAND TAKES CONTROL
After a scoreless first quarter, the ‘Landers jumped out as Hunter Shell scored on a 7-yard run with nine minutes remaining in the half. After Cloudland’s defense forced a three-and-out, its offense struck again.
Shell found a streaking Lacy, who went 70 yards for the score. The two-point conversion — a pass from Shell to Wyatt Julian — was good to give CHS a 14-0 lead.
NORTH STRIKES BACK
Sullivan North, however, wasn’t going down without a fight.
Dale Potter finished off a strong Raider drive with a 14-yard run for a score, cutting the CHS lead to 14-6 at the half.
Then, on the opening drive of the second half, North evened things up as Austin Hartsock raced 53 yards for a touchdown.
From there, it was a defensive battle as neither team was able to again get on the board in regulation.
The ‘Landers had a chance to finish the game in regulation with an untimed down from the 2-yard line, but the Raiders were able to stop the run, forcing overtime.
Seth Birchfield and Shell each had 57 yards rushing to pace Cloudland, while Blair had 36 yards — but none as important as his last carry in overtime.
Shell was 5-of-6 passing for 109 yards.
Hartsock had 79 yards rushing on 15 carries to pace North.
Cloudland opens the Class 1A playoffs against Harriman at Orr Field, while Sullivan North travels to Oneida for Class 2A play.