Hunter Blair followed his line into the end zone to lift the Highlanders to a 20-14 overtime victory over the Golden Raiders.
The defense came up big for the Highlanders (5-5), who stopped the Golden Raiders (5-5) from gaining a yard on the opening overtime possession.
Triston Lacy unloaded a strong 8-yard run for Cloudland on its possession, but North snuffed out a run on the next play. Blair, a senior, then came through with the winning push.
CLOUDLAND TAKES CHARGE
After the teams played a scoreless first quarter, Cloudland got on the scoreboard first when Hunter Shell scored on a 7-yard run with nine minutes remaining in the half. After the Highlanders forced a North three-and-out, their offense struck again.
Shell found a streaking Lacy, who went 70 yards for the score. A pass from Shell to Wyatt Julian for the 2-point conversion gave Cloudland a 14-0 lead.
RAIDERS STRIKE BACK
The Golden Raiders didn’t go down without a fight.
Dale Potter finished off a strong North drive with a 14-yard run for a score, cutting the Highlanders’ lead to 14-6 at halftime.
North pulled even on the opening drive of the second half when Austin Hartsock raced 53 yards for a touchdown.
A defensive battle ensued and neither team could find the end zone again in regulation. The Highlanders had a chance to finish the game in regulation with an untimed down from the 2, but the Raiders stuffed the run.
Seth Birchfield and Shell each ran for 57 yards for Cloudland. Blair added 36 yards, none as important as his last carry in overtime, and Shell finished 5-of-6 passing for 109 yards.
Hartsock rushed for 79 yards on 15 carries.
North travels to Oneida for a Class 2A playoff game. Cloudland opens Class 1A play against Harriman at Orr Field.