Statistics by J.D. Adcock; Photos by Michael Smith
The Kinston Bulldogs saw their season come to an end Friday night with a 35-13 loss to the Cottonwood Bears, at Bulldog Stadium. Kinston was forced to punt on its initial offensive series of the game after reaching the Cottonwood 38-yardline, but regained possession at the Bears 34-yardline after a short punt and this time needed only one play to reach the endzone as on first down Colby Copeland broke loose and rambled 34 yards for a touchdown. John Free added the extra point, and with 2:54 left in the first quarter the Bulldogs were on top 7-0. Cottonwood began its ensuing possession near midfield and quickly went 54 yards in three plays to catch the Bulldogs. The Bears touchdown came on a 43-yard pass from Austin McCardle to Clayton Gilmore, and Caleb Butler added the extra point as the Bears pulled even at 7-7 with 1:18 still left in the stanza. Kinston headed back toward the Cottonwood endzone on its next possession and behind the running of Addison Hudson aand Colby Copeland reached a first down at the Bears 17-yardline. The Bulldogs got no closer than the 13-yardline; however, as the scoring opportunity went by the board with the score still tied at 7-7. Cottonwood was again ready to roll and this time went 86 yards in just five plays to grab the lead. A 60-yard run by Clayton Gilmore was a key play in the long scoring drive, while the touchdown came on a 3-yard run by Raymond Bryant. Butler’s extra point was true, and with 7:11 left in the second quarter the Bears were ahead to stay with a 14-7 lead. Cottonwood began its next possession at its own 30-yardline and this time went 70 yards in 13 plays to extend its lead. Micah Lewis rushed for 31 yards on five carries to lead the Bears down the field and capped the drove with a 1-yard scoring run, and Butler’s extra point try was again successful as Cottonwood’s lead went to 21-7 with 17-seconds left in the half. Kinston received the second half kickoff and got right back in the game as the Bulldogs marched 64 yards in five plays to get back into the endzone. The touchdown came on a 48-yard sprint by Colby Copeland, and while the extra point try failed, the Bulldogs were within 21-13 with 9:50 remaining in the third quarter. Cottonwood began its ensuing possession near midfield and covered the 54 yards to the endzone in just three plays to regain command. The score came on a 38-yard run by Micah Lewis, and Butler added the extra point as the Bears lead grew to 28-13 with 8:31 left in the quarter. Kinston’s next possession ended deep in Cottonwood territory, and the Bears again wasted little time adding to their lead as this time they went 64 yards in eight plays to open up a three touchdown advantage. Cottonwood’s final score came on an 11-yard run by Lewis, and Butler booted the extra point as the Bears went on top 35-13 with just 30 seconds left on the clock. Kinston marched into Cottonwood’s end of the field on its final two possessions, but failed to score on either possession, and the Bears never lost control and posted the 35-13 win. Colby Copeland rushed for 164 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries to lead the Kinston offense, while Addison Hudson added 76 yards on 17 carries. Micah Lewis rushed for 116 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries to lead the Bears, while Raymond Bryant added 139 yards rushing and one td on 15 carries and Austin McCardle completed 3 of 5 passes for 82 yards and one td.