For North Forsyth, the season opener marked the beginning of a new chapter, with a new head coach and several newcomers playing key roles.
And while a 34-14 defeat to Cherokee was not the way Raiders hoped to start their season, they walked away with some positives.
“Our youth showed a little bit,” said North head coach Blair Armstrong said. “We had some bright spots, but we can’t make mistakes like that.
“We gave them two cheap touchdowns in the first half.”
Cherokee rode big plays and a knack for taking advantage of North mistakes to build a 28-0 lead late in the second quarter.
Once the second half began, the Raiders finally found their rhythm.
Armstrong turned loose the North passing game, with the combination of sophomore Harris Roberts and senior Mitch Gutierrez directing the Raiders to 221 yards of total offense in the final two quarters.
Next up for the Raiders is a trip Friday to Woodstock before an open date Sept. 2.
In other games:
* Pinecrest 21, Riverside Military 14
GAINESVILLE — Pinecrest forced five turnovers, returning two interceptions for touchdowns, en route to 21-14 win over Riverside Military Academy.
The lone offensive touchdown came as time was winding down in the first half.
The Paladins connected on a 26-yard deflected pass on third down to put the ball at the goal line.
Pinecrest running back Jacob Carr then punched it in to give his team the lead for good.
“Last year’s team is basically the same team that’s here this year,” said Pinecrest head coach Charles Wiggins.
“They got a lot of playing time and got beat up a lot [last season], but they know what it’s about now and they know how to handle the pressure.”
Against a stout Riverside defense, the Paladins tallied 220 yards but fumbled three times.
Pinecrest returns to action Friday in its home opener as George Walton Academy visits.