FOUR OAKS — South Johnston quarterback Garrett Smith did most of his damage Friday night with his arm, but it was his feet that finally pushed the Trojans past Corinth Holders 31-28 in double overtime.
After Daniel Farmer gave the Pirates a 28-25 lead in the second overtime period with a 35-yard field goal, Smith gained the games final 10 yards on the ground, including a diving plunge on 3rd-and-goal from the 1-yard line in which the ball just barely broke the plane for the win.
Smith gave the Corinth Holders defense fits all night long both through the air and with his ability to escape the pocket, as he did on two first-half touchdown passes to Chris Beasley and Drew Mustgrave to give the Trojans a 17-15 halftime lead.
But the Pirates (6-2 overall, 1-1 Two Rivers 3A) reeled Smith in towards the latter stages of the game and especially in the first overtime period as big sacks by Brendan Bloom and Kendrick Cobb pushed South Johnston out of field goal range.
After a Hail Mary pass to the end zone was knocked down, Corinth Holders had a chance to win the game when it got the ball on the 10-yard line.
A key Trojans sack, however, also pushed the Pirates back and Corinth Holders had to settle for a 29-yard field goal attempt that just missed to the right.
The Pirates had a similar opportunity at the end of regulation but a 40-yard field attempt was blocked as time expired.
Corinth Holders took the lead early as a bad snap on a South Johnston punt forced kicker Cliff McLamb to kick the ball out of his own end zone for the safety one minute into the game.
Junior Pirates quarterback Cole Sakowski turned the Trojans miscue into even more points as the junior found Hampton Smith on a 23-yard shovel pass for a touchdown to give the Pirates the early 9-0 lead.
South Johnston (2-6, 1-1) answered with three consecutive scoring drives, including a Yavanni Herrera 23-yard field goal to take the lead.
After connecting with Hampon Smith for a pair of touchdown passes in the first half, Sakowski found Tori Carmichael for an 11-yard touchdown pass early in the third quarter to take the lead.
After the Trojans Smith found Chris Beasley for their second touchdown connection on the night late in the third quarter, the Pirates needed a field goal from Daniel Farmer in the fourth quarter to tie the game.
Sakowski led the Pirates with 254 yards passing. Hampton Smith hauled in six of Sakowskis passes for 91 yards and the two scores. Carmichael caught five balls for 70 yards while Tony Kirkwood also collected five catches for 55 yards.
Smith finished his night with 240 yards on 18-39 passing with Devin Harris catching nine passes for 102 yards. Clarence Crawford led the Trojans on the ground with 42 yards on 11 carries.