JOHNS CREEK – North Forsyth tried to rally late but fell just short in a 17-14 loss to Johns Creek at The Colosseum on Friday night.
Down 17-7 with 12 seconds to go in the ball game and the Raiders (1-6, 1-5 in Region 6-AAAAAA) at the Johns Creek 1, the clock struck 10 p.m., the lights shut off and the stadium went black.
Along with most of the people in attendance, North head coach Jason Galt said he’d never seen that happen in his years as a high school football coach, but he made sure he kept his team focused.
After a 20-plus minute delay, the Raiders’s Cody Dwyer punched it in from a yard out to bring North within three points of Johns Creek, but after failing to recover the onside kick, the game was over.
“I told the guys I was proud of them,” Galt said. “They fought till the very end and as a coach that’s all you can ask. Defensively we played well enough to win, but offensively we didn’t get the job done.”
North struggled to get much going on offense in the first half, tallying 94 yards on the ground and just 23 through the air. The Raiders basically ran a no-quarterback offense, rotating Cody Dwyer, Jeffrey Rice, Simon Holcomb and Jacob Bailey at the position. The four combined to go 1-for-3 for 23 yards and an interception in the first half with Bailey completing the only pass.
“We decided this gives us one more blocker and it gives our impact players more touches and more opportunities with the ball,” Galt said. “ It’s always been part of the package, but we decided to do it this week because we thought we could run on them, and we did for the most part, we just couldn’t punch the ball in the end zone.”
One of the only times the Raiders were able to find pay-dirt was when Dwyer weaved his way through the Gladiator defense for a 30-yard touchdown run. The score came on an impressive 10-play, 80-yard drive that took up nearly six minutes of game clock and gave the Raiders a 7-3 lead late in the first.
Dwyer and Holcomb did most of the damage for the Raiders’ rushing attack. Dwyer finished with 12 carries for 60 yards and two touchdowns while Holcomb racked up 74 yards on 16 carries. They also got some tough yards from the freshman Bryson Trigg, whose nine carries for 31 yards all came in the fourth quarter.
But the most important carry the freshman had was on a fourth-and-goal from Johns Creek’s 1 with just over two minutes remaining. After a punishing 18-play, 79-yard drive that took over eight minutes off the clock, Trigg was stopped by an impressive Gladiator goal-line-stand, which ultimately decided the Raiders’ fate.
“We moved the ball,” Galt said. “I was pleased with that, but ultimately you gotta score points.”
While the 1-6 start is disheartening, the Raiders are keeping a positive outlook.
“Just keep fighting,” North linebacker Michael Bun said. “Just keep working, and eventually good things will happen.”