REIDSVILLE — Reidsville’s Raheem Johnson had 12 carries for 126 yards and a pair of touchdowns while quarterback Devonte Williams added 103 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries, leading the Rams to a 41-24 victory over Corinth Holders
_ Corinth Holders had one of the tougher assignments of anyone in the state as the Pirates visited long-time superpower Reidsville in the first round of the 2AA state playoffs.
The Pirates hung tough for a while on a cold night, but at the end the Rams just had too many weapons.
Raheem Johnson had 12 carries for 126 yards and a pair of touchdowns while quarterback Devonte Williams added 103 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries, leading the Rams to a 41-24 victory at Community Stadium.
Corinth Holders (5-7) is in just its third year as a school and has its first senior class, while Reidsville – champion of the Mid-State 2A – has been playing football since 1910 and has won a North Carolina-best 18 state gridiron championships.
Reidsville (10-2) will host St. Pauls (9-2), a 22-17 winner over Northwood, in the second round.
“We’ve been in games with very good football teams before,” Pirate coach Barry Honeycutt said. “We’ve played games against teams that were supposed to be a lot better than us.
“Our guys weren’t intimidated. We might have had some of our own jitters, but I thought the guys played really, really hard. As a program we’ve got to grow to being more consistent. We had a great offensive third quarter, and a good second quarter except for not getting the ball into the end zone there at the half.”
Kenneth Collins completed 15 of 29 passes for 262 yards and two touchdowns for the Pirates, while Hampton Smith added six catches for 164 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
“You see a team’s record and they’ve given up lots of points, and it gets in the kids’ minds,” Reidsville coach Jimmy Teague said. “But they were a good team and we knew (Collins) and (Smith) were real good players.”
Reidsville led 22-6 at halftime.
The Rams took the lead with 6:20 left in the first quarter, as Justin Smith got a high snap on a field-goal attempt and hit David Noell on an 11-yard pass to complete an 11-play, 38-yard drive. Charley Martin added the conversion kick.
The Pirates struck back on the first play of the second quarter, as Collins connected with Smith over the middle for a 39-yard touchdown. Aldon Shoup’s conversion attempt was blocked.
Reidsville made it 15-6 with 10:24 left in the half, as Johnson scored from 30 yards out on an acrobatic run up the middle and Martin added the kick.
And it went to 22-6 with 5:34 remaining in the period on Williams’ 18-yard keeper followed by Martin’s kick.
Corinth Holders got to the Reidsville 1 in the closing seconds of the half on Collins’ 44-yard pass to Kelvin Dunn, but a bad snap on the ensuing play led to a long loss as the clock expired.
The Pirates cut the lead to 10 with 9:16 left in the third period on Smith’s 46-yard pass from Collins, but a two-point conversion pass failed.
And they sliced the margin to 22-18 with 17.3 remaining in the quarter on an 11-yard William Floyd run that completed a 16-play, 78-yard march. Shoup’s kick was short.
But Johnson put the Rams up 28-18 on a one-yard run with 11:14 to go, completing a four-play, 54-yard drive in which he carried for 41 yards on the final three plays.
Jayron Rankin got the knockout punch for the Rams with 7:49 to go, bursting up the middle for a 30-yard score.
Jawan Hammock tacked on a two-yard scoring run for Reidsville with 2:19 to play.
But the Pirates got one last touchdown on Matt Good’s three-yard pass to Kelvin Dunn in the final minute.