RALEIGH — Knightdale senior Marcell Johnson was able to score on both sides of the ball Friday to give the Knights a 14-7 edge over host Millbrook.
Both teams struggled to move the ball early in the game, combining for less than ten yards of total offense in the first quarter. However, Knightdale capitalized on the defensive side to get on the scoreboard first.
Millbrook senior quarterback Lamar Harris fumbled a lateral inside the Wildcats’ 40-yard-line with just under five minutes to play in the first quarter. The scramble to recover the ball pushed it back inside the 30 where Knightdale’s Marcell Johnson collected it and found his way to the end zone. Knights kicker Ray Watson knocked in the extra point to give Knightdale a 7-0 lead.
“It took some pressure off of us,” said Knightdale head coach Rob Senseney of the score.
The Knights switched it up in the second quarter, putting Marquavious Johnson behind center. The senior quickly pushed the team downfield. He rushed 69 yards and passed for eight to put the Knights just short of the goal line. Marcell Johnson punched it in for another score with 8:19 left in the half.
Those scores proved to be enough to move the Knights to 2-0 on the season, but Senseney said the Knights need to be more consistent on offense.
“Penalties, missed snaps, we kind of shot ourselves in the foot,” Senseney said. “We moved the ball, but we shot ourselves in the foot. … Right now the onus is on me to get the offense going. We’d get the ball and we’d fumble or we’d misalign, but that’s on me.”
Knightdale also saw big plays from senior Nate Harvey, who had 94 yards rushing on ten carries. However,the team struggled to string together enough plays to score in the second half.
Both teams saw missed opportunities on offense. Each team threw two interceptions and fumbled once, but penalties on both ends stalled several chances at scores and progress down the field.
“It kills you,” said Millbrook head coach Clarence Inscore. “You’re moving the ball and all of a sudden instead of being first and ten or second and five, you’re second and long or third and long. We’ve got to stay out of those situations.”
The Wildcats got on the board midway through the fourth quarter when sophomore quarterback Reid Herring, who had 10 of 25 passing for 144 yards, led the team down the field, going 69 yards on three pass plays. Herring then connected with Reche Hunter in the end-zone for a 30-yard score.
using three pass plays to go 69 yards and find Reche Hunter in the end zone on a 30-yard score.
Millbrook’s defense halted Knightdale, forcing a 35-yard field goal attempt with just more than two minutes remaining. The kick was no good, giving the Wildcats a chance to tie the game or go for the win.
The Wildcats moved the got the ball to midfield, taking to the air again, but fell short of the fourth quarter comeback.
“We were able to put ourselves in a situation where we could have won the game, but Knightdale was able to rise up and make some stops,” Inscore said. “We just have to get more consistent. We’ve got to be able to sustain those drives and keep them going.”
Knightdale hosts Heritage next week. Millbrook (1-1) hosts East Wake.