Fuquay-Varina waited 665 days to return to its renovated stadium on its mostly new campus off Highway 55.
The Bengals rewarded what coach Jeb Hall called an “electric” and “incredible” crowd with a 17-10 victory over rival Holly Springs, their first victory at their traditional home in nearly two full calendar years.
Prior to Friday, Fuquay-Varina’s last home win was a 28-26 victory over Middle Creek, another nearby rival, on November 8, 2019. The Bengals spent last spring’s abridged campaign on the campus of Willow’s new high school Springs.
Fuquay-Varina (3-0) appeared to be on track for extra time for the second straight time at “home”, although the previous home game was in Willow Springs. The Bengals couldn’t capitalize on an early interception in the fourth quarter that established possession on the Holly Springs 28-yard line with the score tied at 10.
Connor Scherpereel has made sure that some Bengals fans who have witnessed the happy return to the start of the season can be home before 10 a.m. Scherpereel rushed 10 times for 60 yards on the winning run that started near 6.30am of the fourth quarter. Fuquay-Varina used about six minutes off the game clock before the big-back dived to the left of center and into the end zone for the winning touchdown with 31.7 seconds left.
“Connor has been amazing on this ride,” said Hall. “He wanted it. I told him that great players come forward in important situations, and he did.
Scherpereel converted a fourth and one from the four-yard line for three yards with 1:07 left. He had previous runs of 19 and 12 yards on his team’s last practice.
Bengals kicker Matt Jones – whose 22-yard field goal tied the score at 10 with 11:54 to go – cemented the final scoreline after Scherpereel’s dive.
Holly Springs (1-2) had won three straight games over Fuquay-Varina before Friday. The Bengals remain undefeated. They were new to the Triangle Sweet 16 area last week at No.12 after going unranked in Week 1.
This story was originally published September 3, 2021 11:25 pm.