KNIGHTDALE — The Brothers Johnson and Nate Harvey were just too much Friday night for Southeast Raleigh.
Quarterback Marquavious Johnson rushed for 136 yards and three touchdowns and Harvey rushed for 114 yards and a touchdown as No. 4 Knightdale celebrated homecoming with a 42-14 romp over the Bulldogs.
Marquavious’ brother Marcell Johnson added two touchdowns, scoring from 2 yards in the first quarter and returning an interception 19 yards in the second.
Knightdale (7-1, 4-0) established outright possession of first place in the Greater Neuse River 4A, while Southeast fell to 3-4 and 2-1.
“We prepared for what they do,” Knightdale coach Rob Senseney said. “We knew they’d be big and physical up front. We challenged our kids, and they played great football.
“We’ve got Garner next week, and to be on top you’ve got to beat the king. It is what it is. They’ve got to beat us, and we’ve got to win. It’s set up like a championship fight.”
The Knights, who led 28-0 at halftime, have won two straight over Southeast.
“They executed and we didn’t,” Southeast coach Marvin Burke said. “Knightdale is a great football team, and we knew it was going to be a battle. My hat’s off to their coaching staff. They had a great game plan.
“They made the plays they needed to make and we didn’t. They didn’t really surprise us with anything. We knew they had a tough defense going in.”
Backup quarterback Darris Bridgers had the best game for Southeast, completing 5 of 13 passes for 79 yards and two second-half touchdowns.
Knightdale struck with 6:18 left in the first period, as Marcell Johnson bulled in from 2 yards to finish an 11-play, 59-yard drive. Taylor Betts added the kick.
Marquavious Johnson helped double the lead at 3:20, breaking down the right sideline for a 43-yard score.
“We worked all week for this,” Marquavious Johnson said. “We wanted to come out and make a statement and win. Once we scored the first touchdown, there was no stopping us.”
The lead went to 21-0 with 2:43 left in the first half, as Harvey bounced up the middle for a 9-yard touchdown to end a four-play, 48-yard drive.
With 1:37 left in the half, Marcell Johnson stepped in front of a Dylan Parham pass and took it 19 yards to the end zone to make it 28-0.
“We were talking on the sideline about how the defense hadn’t scored a touchdown in two games,” Marcell Johnson said. “Technically I called it out. I saw the quarterback’s eyes going to the flat, I picked the play and took it to the house.”
Southeast finally scored with 6:54 left in the third, as Bridgers completed a 12-yard pass to Aschod Meeks-Ewing to the left pylon. Gary Nava’s kick completed the 11-play, 70-yard drive.
But Marquavious Johnson removed all doubt on a 37-yard scoring run to the left corner with 32.5 seconds left in the third.
With 10:22 to play, Marquavious Johnson went in again from 37.
Southeast got one more score with 8:08 left on a 14-yard pass from Bridgers to Cameron Marshmon.
“We got a good pep talk at halftime and kept fighting,” Bridgers said. “We’ve just got to put this one behind us and play a good game next week.”