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The 2010 high school football season got under way Friday night with two games involving Forsyth County teams.
In state Class AAAAA, North Forsyth traveled to Cherokee as the Raiders began pursuit of a second consecutive playoff berth.
Making its Georgia High School Association debut, Pinecrest Academy played host to Riverside Military Academy in Class A action.
* North 14, Cherokee 3
CANTON — Season openers can be challenging, but Friday night proved to be especially difficult for North Forsyth.
Facing Cherokee on the road, the Raiders dealt with periods of heavy rain, which contributed to a sloppy night that saw eight fumbles and 26 penalties between the two teams.
But everything turned out just fine for North on the scoreboard, as solid defense and its vaunted rushing attack paced a 14-3 win over the Warriors.
"I think it was a rough night," North head coach Jared Zito said. "It was a sloppy field, first game of the year, a week earlier than most openers, just a tough night all the way around."
The key for the Raiders was two scores from running back Tyler Slaton, who carried the ball 18 times for 120 yards in the victory. Quarterback Joey Vicary added 67 yards on 13 carries.
It was the ground game that did nearly all the damage for the Raiders as they rushed for 233 yards.
The defense did its part as well, holding the Warriors to less than 10 yards rushing for the game and setting up a score early in the second half.
The Raiders (1-0) will look for that type of effort again next Friday, when Woodstock visits Raider Valley.
* RMA 7, Pinecrest 3
The Pinecrest Academy Paladins played well enough defensively to walk off the field as victors.
But the offensive execution just wasn't there, and a stellar defensive showing wasn't enough to keep Riverside Military Academy from spoiling the Paladins' GHSA debut.
Freshman Justin Martin rushed for 108 yards as the Eagles outlasted a 45-minute lightning delay at the start and a gutsy Pinecrest defense, taking a 7-3 victory in a soggy season opener for both teams at Pinecrest.
“We just could not run our offense,” Pinecrest head coach Charles Wiggins said. “We're going to get better.”
The Paladins finished with just 90 yards of total offense. Last season, they went 11-2 and reached the Georgia Independent School Association semifinals.
Pinecrest (0-1) hits the road next Friday, traveling east to face George Walton Academy in Monroe.
* Scrimmage games
Three other Forsyth County schools took the gridiron Friday for scrimmage games, all of which were cut short by lightning that preceded heavy rainfall later in the night.
Before the weather halted play, however, visiting North Hall was leading Forsyth Central 10-0.
In the other scrimmages, Flowery Branch had jumped out to a 20-0 lead on host South Forsyth and West Forsyth led Parkview 7-0 in Lilburn.
Those teams and Lambert, which was off, open their regular seasons next Friday.
Topping the local schedule will be the renewal of a county rivalry as Forsyth Central plays host to South Forsyth.
For its first varsity game, Lambert will journey to Tunnel Hill to face Northwest Whitfield, while West Forsyth visits Harrison, a northern Cobb County school.
For complete coverage of all Friday night's action, see the next edition of the Forsyth County News.