The Cubs made a statement of intent on Saturday night, winning a crucial game at home to Stuart Hall, 44-40.
It was the first time the Cubs have managed to get the better of the San Francisco school in three years playing eight person football.
And they had to battle.
Trailing by 10 heading into the fourth quarter, South Fork scored two late touchdowns to come from behind and pull out the dramatic win.
Not only does the victory set the Cubs (3-2) up nicely for conference play, which gets under way at Upper Lake on Friday, but it comes at a crucial stage of the season and a young team’s development.
“That was a pivotal game, I believe, in our season,” head coach Karl Terrell said. “To accomplish what we did, that will help us get to where we want to be.”
It certainly showed plenty of character, with a number of team leaders stepping up.
Alex Harding had his usual standout game, scoring three touchdowns and accounting for more than 400 total yards, while senior Ian Burton made his presence felt at tight end, pulling in a pair of touchdowns, including a fourth-quarter score that cut the deficit to three.
After recovering the ensuing onside kick, the Cubs went deep a couple of plays later, when quarterback Sean Hassall-Hoss connected with Harding on a 40-yard TD pass for the winning score.
“I’m pretty proud of how the kids came together this week,” Terrell said. “They played with heart, and they finished the game.”
Hassall-Hoss had a big night at quarterback, throwing for 143 yards and four touchdowns, as well as running for 56 yards.
Harding had 179 yards and a touchdown on the ground, as well as 115 yards and two TDs through the air.
He also had 120 yards and a touchdown on punt returns.
Burton added three big catches for 28 yards, two of them going for touchdowns.
Junior co-captain John Gamble also continued to impress for the home team on both lines.