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The 1968 varsity football season began in the same manner as the 1967 campaign for Fike High School and the Cyclones were left hoping it would end the same way.
Fike, the defending North Carolina High School Athletic Association 4-A champion, opened the season Aug. 301, 1968, with a 9-0 loss at R.J. Reynolds High in Winston-Salem, a year after the Black Demons came to Wilson and beat the Cyclones 13-7 at Fleming Stadium. It would be Fike’s only loss in 1967.
Fike’s offense sputtered throughout the 1968 opener, managing just one trip inside Reynolds territory while vaunted junior running back Carlester Crumpler’s longest carry of the game was just 11 yards. Senior John Wooten, starting at quarterback for the first time, completed just one pass — for 29 yards to Steve Windham — in five attempts and Fike totaled just 78 rushing yards.
“It’s always rough on a player like that,” Cyclones head coach Henry Trevathan said of Wooten to Wilson Daily Times sports editor Cliff Turner after the game. “If we can get our offensive blocking polished up then we should do all right. I think we have the defense to go with it.”
Indeed, the Fike defense — led by Jerry Jones, Zeke Church, Larry Barnes, Phil Lamm, Dan Killebrew, Earl Killebrew and Windham — held the Black Demons to just one touchdown, that came in the fourth quarter.
Fike, which saw its 12-game winning streak end, would go back on the road the next week to take on old Eastern 4-A Conference foe Fayetteville.