Forsyth County News sports editor Brian Paglia contributed to this report
LOGANVILLE — Often times in high school football, if a team lives by the big play, it can also perish that way as well.
Many Loganville Red Devil football fans can testify to the joys of the big play, as running back Darryl Giles and quarterback Cam Perkins again dazzled at times Friday night at Red Devil Stadium. On this particular night, however, it was the big play that helped North Forsyth to a 31-24 win over the Red Devils.
North (2-1) had to hold on late to preserve its victory, matching last season’s win total in just the third game and against a playoff team from a season ago.
“It was basically a repeat of last week,” Craft said. “We had the exact same situation. We were up, 2 minutes left, and can’t figure out a way to win on the road. So really proud that we almost faced an identical situation and they found a way to win. We talked a lot about things we can do better, ways we can finish, and proud of our guys.”
After a 6-yard Giles touchdown run put Loganville up 10-0 early, the North Forsyth offense started to click, with a drive capped by a 1-yard touchdown sneak by Carter Mullikin.
The Red Devils the missed a long field goal, and on the very next play, Raider quarterback Ben Bales connected with senior receiver Charlie Aikins for an 80-yard touchdown grab.
Loganville answered immediately with a 77-yard gallop from Giles, but left too much time on the first half clock. North Forsyth would score a touchdown and then a field goal after the Devils fumbled a pop-up kickoff.
The visiting Raiders took a 24-17 lead into the halftime locker room.
“We challenged the kids to come out and respond in the second half, and they did,” Loganville head coach Mike Humphreys said. “We just turned the ball over and gave up too many big plays.”
The teams traded touchdowns, with North Forsyth adding a touchdown pass in the third quarter and Giles scoring from 4 yards out early in the fourth.
Then, things really got interesting.
With Loganville facing a fourth down-and-4 from its own 32-yard line, Perkins threw an interception that was returned inside the 5-yard line. The turnover would’ve effectively ended the game, but the North Forsyth returner fumbled and Loganville recovered, giving the Devils one last chance.
The Loganville offense almost took advantage of the golden opportunity, working its way down to the North Forsyth 7-yard line.
But facing a fourth-and-5 from the 7, Perkins scrambled and was tackled short of the first-down marker, giving the visiting Raiders the win.
“The guys played real well in all three phases of the game,” Craft said.