By Caleb Byrd
For the Forsyth County News
Nobody touched him.
As Brady Meitz dropped back into the pocket with 55 seconds left in the first half, Austin Colon ran freely down the middle of the field, not a defender in sight.
Meitz didn’t hesitate, throwing a 57-yard rope and connecting with the untouched Colon for the Raiders’ third touchdown of the night. North went into halftime leading 21-0 against a dejected Alcovy team.
Meitz went 12-for-16 passing with 130 yards and a touchdown through the air, adding 51 yards and a touchdown with his legs. Combine that with an 87-yard, one-touchdown performance from Jared Lucero and the Raiders offense was nearly unstoppable, beating Alcovy 35-3 behind the leadership of Meitz and Lucero.
“Those guys are both captains, so we have high expectations for them all season, and they play that way,” North head coach Robert Craft said of Meitz and Lucero. “I’ve just told all the guys how proud I am of them for adjusting to everything that’s different these past six months. From school, weight training in the offseason, virtual meetings, everything we’ve asked them to do as coaches they’ve just responded so well, and Brady and Jared have been the leaders through that.”
There was no lack of leadership and tenacity on defense either for the Raiders.
Chris Herock led the way with four sacks, three of them coming in the fourth quarter. North’s defense scored the first touchdown of the game, recovering a fumble in the end zone for a score late in the first quarter, and setting a tone of relentlessness for the rest of the ball game.
The Raiders swarmed the ball all night, allowing fewer than 50 yards of total offense before halftime, and finishing the game allowing just over 100 yards total.
Big hits, sacks, and rushed passing attempts were the defensive stories of the night as the Raiders’ defense controlled the tempo of the game. Only one big play was allowed: a 60-yard pass down the sideline near the end of the third quarter. But North adjusted quickly, making a stand on the goal line and forcing Alcovy to settle for a field goal.
“You know we wanted that shutout there,” said Craft, “but we made an awesome stand and forced the field goal attempt. So, defense played rock solid all night. And that’s the biggest thing we wanted to see, to just play with great effort and run to the football. Good things happen when we do that.”
Patrick Corrigan provided a rushing touchdown on the goal line. And backup quarterback Drew Aucoin went 3 for 4 with 52 yards through the air, one of those attempts going for 42 yards to none other than Colon.
Colon amassed 99 receiving yards and a touchdown, the most of any receiver on the night.
When asked about the outlook for the rest of the season after such a statement home-win, Craft remained humble and hopeful. “For us, we just gotta keep getting better. We gotta get better every week. That’s what these non-region games are, chances to get better. We have Harrison, who went 15-0 and were 6A state champions next week coming in here, so we got our work cut out for us. We need to take these next three weeks to get better.”
For now, Craft and the Raiders can enjoy the Labor Day weekend with the joy of a hard-fought win in Raider Valley under their belt.