KNIGHTDALE — The Knights posted 458 rushing yards as they strolled past West Johnston for a homecoming win, 50-13, Friday night.
Knightdale quarterback Marquavious Johnson rushed for three scores and passed for a fourth in the victory. His longest score came on a 69-yard keeper on the third play of the second half.
The Knights (5-1, 3-0 Greater Neuse River 4A) opened up a 30-6 halftime lead compliments of 268 first-half rushing yards – 119 coming off the heels of Nathaniel Harvey and 91 more coming from Johnson.
West Johnston quarterback Justin Carroll, who averaged 267 passing yards per game heading into the meeting with the Knights, was held to a mere 27 yards through the air and zero passing scores, and threw one interception in the loss.
Carroll scored on the ground from 9 yards out on the opening drive of the game, but West Johnston (2-4, 1-2) failed to convert the extra point. From that point until halftime Knightdale scored on five of six possessions, scoring twice off Wildcat turnovers.
Johnson produced the Knights’ first score on a 14-yard keeper that capped a four-play, 80-yard drive about a minute after the Wildcats first score. Johnson and Harvey combined for two more rushing touchdowns in the first half, and Johnson targeted Lamont Chaney for a 15-yard passing score.
Knightdale kicker Taylor Betts hit an 18-yard field goal and was three-for-four on extra points in the first half. He made five of his seven extra point attempts in the game.
Aside from Johnson’s long run, Chris Malone produced the only score of the third quarter on a 4-yard run that set Knightdale up with a 43-6 lead.
In the fourth quarter, Xavier Carter hauled in a 25-yard pass from Ryne Turner for West Johnston’s second and final score of the night before Knightdale’s Malik Johnson rushed 1 yard for the final score of the game.
Johnson finished with 180 yards rushing on 14 carries. Carroll led the Wildcats on the ground with 42 yards on eight attempts.
Turner led West Johnston through the air, connecting on eight of 11 passes for 91 yards and the one touchdown.
The 5-1 start this season marks the best in Knightdale High School varsity football history.