KENLY — North Johnston put a perfect record on the line Thursday night against Warren County's winless mark, and there wasn't much mystery as to which team was better.
Malik Adams had three touchdowns by three different methods and a pair of interceptions, all in the first half, as the Panthers rolled in a 49-6 blowout in the Northern Carolina 2-A opener for both teams at Streifert Stadium.
North Johnston (6-0) led 42-6 at halftime, with Adams' defensive gems helped out by another pair of pickoffs from Embry Neal.
Adams rushed 10 times for 52 yards, and Daniel Williams carried six times for 57 yards and a touchdown. Joe Price added 30 yards and two touchdowns on five carries.
The Panthers got onto the board in their second possession with Adams rushing 26 yards down the left sideline to complete a three-play, 40-yard drive and then adding the kick himself.
Adams scored again on the first play of the next possession on a 49-yard pass from Boone Langley with Harrison Grady adding the boot.
Warren County (0-5) kept things interesting early on Markell Pitchford's 20-yard scoring connection to Derrick Robinson with 31/2 minutes left in the quarter, four plays after Robinson's 69-yard reception.
But Adams returned the kickoff 75 yards for a North Johnston touchdown, and Phillip Parrish caught a 5-yard scoring pass from Langley to make it 28-6 after the first quarter.
"It just came to me tonight," Adams said. "It was natural, man. That's it. Being 6-0 feels pretty good. Pretty good."
"[Adams] was tough," Eagles coach Steve Powell said. "I think probably we weren't ready for their speed of play. They played very fast, which was good for them.
"We weren't ready to come off the ball very well, and we're still learning how to do that."