Football: Princeton 45, North Johnston 32

Princeton rallies by North Johnston

cbest@newsobserver.comSeptember 13, 2013 

— Princeton rode a late season come from behind victory over a longtime rival into the eastern championship game last season. With seven more regular-season games to follow Friday night’s come from behind victory over Johnston County rival North Johnston, there’s plenty of opportunity for the Bulldogs do more damage.

Princeton (2-2) trailed the Panthers 26-10 at halftime and appeared to be on the verge of being blown out after North’s Montie Walker returned an interception 85 yards for a touchdown on the last play of the first half.

But the Bulldogs started to build their own momentum quickly. Johnny Fraiser darted around the left side for a 52-yard TD run on the first play of the second half and Princeton’s comeback was on.

“We told the guys at halftime to not come out of the locker room if they didn’t believe we could come back and win this game,” said Princeton coach Derrick Minor. “Every one of them stood up, walked out and did their job in the second half.”

The Bulldogs’ defense got the next score in the comeback with sophomore Adrian Whack intercepting a North Johnston (0-4) pass and returning it 38 yards for a touchdown. Frasier’s second two-point conversion run of the night tied the contest at 26 with 4:18 to play in the third quarter.

Frasier, a junior, totaled 344 yards gained on the night and five touchdowns scored. He ran for 267 yards on 15 carries and had a punt return of 65 yards for a TD.

“I told the entire offense at halftime that they could either let everything that’s happened so far get to you or you could come back out and play like they could,” Minor said.

North Johnston, which got big nights from Walker (262 yards passing, 68 yards rushing) and Trey Daniels (118 yards receiving on eight catches) went back ahead with 3:01 to play in the third when Aaron Kopp scored on a 21-yard run.

However, Frasier ended the third quarter with a 65-yard punt return for a touchdown to even the score at 32.

Another big play from Frasier, a 47-yard TD run with 5:07 to play ended up being the winning score. Princeton added another Frasier TD run in the closing minutes, taking advantage of an interception and 43-yard return by Cody Garner.

Best: 919-524-8895; Twitter: @dclaybest

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