KNIGHTDALE — Knightdale rallied from 12 points down in the fourth quarter to defeat Durham Hillside 16-15 Friday night. Marquavious Johnson scrambled 15 yards for the winning touchdown with 26.5 seconds left.
The win was the Knights’ ninth straight and continues a record-setting season.
Knightdale began its winning drive from its 20-yard line after Hillside missed a 25-yard field goal with 5:02 left.
Johnson rushed four times for 24 yards during the drive. Knightdale caught a break when Johnson was sacked, but the Hornets were called for a personal foul with 54 seconds remaining.
After a 3-yard run and an incomplete pass, Johnson, looking for a receiver but finding none, tucked the ball in and rumbled the 15 yards for the winning touchdown with 26.5 seconds left.
“The play we had called, they (Hillside) protected pretty well,” said Knightdale coach Rob Senseney, whose team travels to Scotland County next week. “He scrambled out and made the play, something he’s been doing all season for us.”
Hillside led 7-3 at halftime after scoring on its first possession of the game – a 10-play, 61-yard drive that culminated in Hillside quarterback Nas Forte-Ferguson hitting a streaking Trevion Thompson for the 7-0 score.
A second Hillside drive was thwarted when Knightdale linebacker Malik Johnson recovered a fumble at the Knights 16. But Knightdale gave the ball right back with its own fumble at its 19.
Knightdale kicker Taylor Betts nailed a 23-yard field goal to trim the lead to 7-3.
Hillside scored on its first possession of the second half, this one a 14-play 77-yard drive that ended Hillside running back Donte’ Thomas-Williams skipped in from the 2. A two-point conversation gave Hillside (9-3) a 15-3 lead.
Johnson scored on a 9-yarder at the top of the fourth quarter to pull the Knights to 15-10.
The loss negated a 140-yard rushing performance by Thomas-Williams.