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North defense dominates again against Dawson
Raiders hold Tigers under 150 yards in 31-0 win
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North Forsyth running back Jamal Davenport led the Raiders with 58 yards and two touchdowns. - photo by Lily McGregor

A dominant defense and strong running game led North Forsyth to a 31-0 win over Dawson County at home on Friday in a non-region game.

North (2-0) earned its second shutout in a row after blanking Forsyth Central 31-0 in the Raiders’ season-opener, the first time since 2010 that North has posted back-to-back shutouts.

The Raiders’ defense collected four sacks, two by Shane Pierce and one by Lenny Bishop and Josh Petz. Defensive back Peyton Runion had two interceptions in the fourth quarter. The Raiders held Dawson (2-1) to just one first down in the first half.

"Two shutouts in a row, we haven’t done that since 2010," North coach Jason Galt said. "As good as the scoreboard said we played, we still made a lot of mistakes."

North’s first drive of the night overshadowed the mistakes and controlled most of the first quarter. Running back Jamal Davenport, who led the team with 58 rushing yards, all in the first half, helped move the ball to the 5 yard line at the end of the first quarter. Two plays into the second quarter, Trey Wagner completed the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run to give North a 7-0 lead.

North’s defense went to work from there. A Pierce sack of Dawson quarterback Zach Buchan and several penalties forced the Tigers to punt. North took over and drove for another touchdown run by Davenport to go up 14-0.

The next Raider possession started off with a 16-yard gain by quarterback Harris Roberts. Roberts rushed for 27 yards and passed for 38. A five-yard rush by Davenport earned him his second touchdown with 38 seconds left in the half and increased the North lead to 21-0 at halftime.

Wagner received the second-half kickoff and, while being tackled, made a short pitch to running back Luke Slaton. Slaton ran 50 yards to Dawson’s 20, and with the help of a 10-yard defensive penalty, North started on the Tiger’s 10 yard line. The successful kick return resulted in a Joseph Bailey field goal to make it 24-0.

Two fourth down conversions at the end of the third quarter gave North the ball on the 1-yard line to start the fourth quarter. The Raider’s converted four out of five fourth downs.  Zach Slaton scored North’s fourth touchdown of the night and increased the lead to 31-0.

Dawson picked up its second first down of the night, but North’s defense came up big again. The Raiders recovered a Tigers fumble on the 48.

North was able to dictate the clock and the speed of the game by converting their first five drives to four touchdowns and a field goal. They wore out the Tiger’s defense out by keeping the ball on the ground and only throwing it eight times.

Payton Holbrooks (38 yards), Zach Slaton (28) and Roberts (27) helped North rush for 208 yards.

"We have a lot of fixing to do because we have the big boys coming up; we’re playing 6A football," Galt said. "We have some stuff to work on, but they got the shutout."