OAKWOOD — A pair of missed field goals late Friday night helped North Forsyth dodge a Johnson rally.
Behind a stout running night from sophomore Tyler Slaton, the Raiders (1-1) were able to pull off a 17-14 victory Friday night over the Knights (0-2) at Billy Ellis Memorial Stadium.
Slaton, who had 142 yards on 21 carries, was able to carry his team on his back.
The sophomore rushing threat took punishing hits for 2-3 yards, but was also able to break runs for 42 and 47 yards. Although Slaton did not score on any play, he was instrumental in setting up touchdowns for his fellow Raiders.
Jory Walsh was the first of his teammates to score a touchdown on the night, as he broke a scoreless tie with a six-yard run into the end zone with 7:54 left in the second quarter.
A little over five minutes later, quarterback Eli Chester took off on a 15-yard touchdown run with 2:08 left in the second quarter.
The Raiders were in firm control, for the moment.
On the ensuing kickoff, Mick Shannon, a senior for the Knights, gave his team a boost as he returned the kickoff 79 yards for a touchdown that cut the deficit to seven points.
Knights quarterback Anthony Prophet got off to a sluggish start, going 2-for-5 in the first half, but he got get it together in the second half, completing a 14-yard pass to Mick Shannon that put the ball on the 1-yard line.
Prophet would punch it in on the next play for the touchdown that trimmed the deficit to three points with 1:38 left in the third.
Prophet would then show his speed and quickness going all the way to the endzone on a 4th-and-four draw play. But the 52-yard run was called back due to a block in the back penalty that took place down field.
Still, Prophet gave his team a chance at a field goal late in the game taking the Knights 24 yards in just 29 seconds.
After spking the ball with eight seconds left in the game, junior kicker Chris Henry had a chance at redemption for a missed field goal just five minutes prior, at the exact same spot and scenario. The 30-yarder missed to the left.
After the game, a good spirited Prophet — who finished with 94 yards through the air and 86 yards on the ground and had one touchdown — said the fourth quarter is in important.
“You cannot take steps back when you are in the situation and you have to stick to the original game plan,” he said. “Never yield to the defense.”
An excited coach Jared Zito of the North Forsyth Raiders (1-1) said it was a great game.
“There were two teams hungry for their first win,” he said.
“We were lucky and good, because we were not perfect. But I was just proud of the fight by our boys.”