By Josh Holland
For the Forsyth County News
Trailing 14-7 late in the fourth quarter Friday night, North Forsyth fought for a touchdown in a drive that featured several third-down conversions, finished off by a 12-yard touchdown pass from Brady Meitz to Jared Lucero.
Kicker Will Peltz stepped up to tie the game with the PAT, but instead he kicked it off the left crossbar and the Raiders still trailed Woodstock with just under 4 minutes left in the game.
North (3-2) was unable to stop Woodstock’s rush-focused offense in order to get the ball back, and the Wolverines picked up enough first downs to run out the clock. The game finished 14-13 in Raider Valley, as North lost its final non-region game.
Woodstock got the ball to start the game and it was immediately clear that they had a strong rushing dynamic to their offense. Running back V’ontae Hampton broke off a 57-yard run that would have been a touchdown had he not fumbled inside the 5-yard line. Woodtock retained possession and was able to score easily on the next play to give Woodstock an early lead.
North struggled to match Woodstock’s intensity in the early stages of the game and failed to score on the first three offensive possessions. Miles Hartsfield came up with an interception late in the first quarter, but a holding penalty on first down stifled North’s ability to take advantage of the turnover.
The Raiders were finally able to get into the end zone with 4 minutes left in the second quarter after a drive where Lucero and Anthony Herock picked up large chunks of yardage. Meitz connected with Herock for a 7-yard touchdown pass that got North back on level terms before halftime.
North got the ball back to start the second half, and the offense was able to drive inside the 10 until a 7-yard sack forced the Raiders to settle for a field goal. Peltz missed the 24-yard field goal that would have given the Raiders a 10-7 lead.
Woodstock looked like it was going to have to punt on fourth-and-long deep in its own territory until a dead ball personal foul against North gifted them a first down. Just a couple of plays later, Wolverines quarterback Walker Ormsby found Wes Bruno for a 37-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-7.
North scored off of Meitz’s pass to Lucero late in the fourth quarter, but were unable to convert the PAT. Their defense had to step up to get the ball back to the offense, but Hamilton was able to break a 32-yard run down to the 4-yard line, where the Wolverines offense took victory formation and run out the clock.
The narrow victory for Woodstock was its first of the season, making them a 1-4 team. North Forsyth head coach Robert Craft labeled the frustrating loss, “A great learning experience,” adding that, “in non-region football, we want to play great competition that is going to get us ready for the region.”