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Football: North Forsyth beats Gainesville to cap perfect home record
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Photo by Lily McGregor Photography for the Forsyth County News.

By Will Grice 

For the Forsyth County News

The North Forsyth Raiders defeated the Gainesville Red Elephants 38-13 on Friday night. The win was a great way to say goodbye to a senior class that has done so much for the Raiders.

“They’ve accomplished so much,” North Forsyth head coach Robert Craft said. “It’s the first time since 2001 we’ve gone undefeated at home and had back-to-back winning seasons. These guys have left their mark on the school.”

Friday's win was a show of dominance for the Raiders, but the game did get off to a rocky start. Quarterback Drew Aucoin threw an interception on the Raiders first play of scrimmage, putting their defense in a less-than-ideal scenario to start the game.

Gainesville’s offense couldn’t capitalize off the early mistake and actually ended up losing yards on the drive after back-to-back holding penalties. The penalties forced Gainesville to end up punting and North got the ball back at its own 10-yard line.

After Aucoin’s early interception, Craft decided to go with quarterback West Roberts for the next drive, though both quarterbacks saw action throughout the game.

“Drew has been a little banged up, so we just want to try and take care of him. We still want him to do the things he does well though and I’m just glad both our quarterbacks were able to make plays tonight,” said Craft.

The next North drive ended in a 34-yard field goal by Will Peltz and North carried a 3-0 lead into the second quarter. 

Gainesville's next drive crossed midfield and into North territory, but the Red Elephants fumbled the ball and Raiders defensive back Nick Ware jumped on the fumble and returned it to the Gainesville 13-yard line. 

Aucoin scored on the next play to give North a 10-0 lead.

The next drive was a bit of déjà vu for Gainesville, driving the ball into North territory before fumbling again, with North linebacker Dylan Lyerly recovering the fumble. 

On the next play, though, Roberts threw an interception, and Gainesville scored a touchdown off the turnover to make it a 10-7 game. 

However, that was as close as the score would be all night.

Roberts had a chance to redeem himself on the next drive, and he did just that, finding receiver Logan Curry on a deep throw for a 59-touchdown. The score gave North a 17-7 lead, which the Raiders carried into halftime.

The Raiders began to exert their will on the Red Elephants in the second half. Aucoin was back in at quarterback to start the second half for the Raiders and led them down the field for a touchdown, scoring on a 4-yard touchdown run.

Curry got involved on defense as well, intercepting a pass on the next Gainesville drive and returning the ball all the way to the 1-yard line. Aucoin carried it in for the touchdown on the next play.

Gainesville scored a touchdown on the next drive to cut the lead to 31-13 heading into the fourth quarter, but the Red Elephants had no answer for North’s offense. The Raiders' next possession ended in another touchdown, this time Aucoin finding receiver Aiden Ruckh for a 10-yard score.

Patrick Corrigan put the game on ice for the Raiders on Gainesville’s next drive, intercepting a pass to go along with an excellent night running the ball.

The Raiders finish their 2021 season at a 6-4 record and just miss out on the playoffs due to a tiebreaker.