Knightdale will have its work cut out for it when it travels to Laurinburg to take on undefeated Scotland County in the third round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A football playoffs.
The Scots (13-0) are a traditional power and are ranked among the best teams in the state. Scotland was 12-2 in 2012 after going 15-0 in 2011.
But Knightdale coach Robert Senseney said his team has proven it isnt overwhelmed by tradition and history.
We cant get caught up in the atmosphere, cant get caught up in the name on the jerseys, said Knights coach Robert Senseney, whose team has won nine straight. We just have to play hard and not make any mistakes.
Knightdale (11-1) had won 20 games in its eight-year history before this season. The Knights have set the school record for wins.
They might have set a record for excitement, too, as the Knights trailed Durham Hillside for most of the game Friday, but they took advantage of the Hornets miscues to rally for the 16-15 victory. Quarterback Marquavious Johnson scrambled 15 yards for the winning touchdown with 26.5 seasons left.
The Scots didnt need to rally as they claimed a tough 43-27 victory over New Bern in the second round.
Senseney said he knew he had a special team after a come-from-behind 48-45 win against Garner during October.
Our players didnt back down and kept the game close, and pulled it out in the end, he said. They kept their poise against a great program and just kept playing well.
Scotland County escaped Marlboro, S.C., 21-14 early in the season, but it has had little trouble with any North Carolina team. The Scots have outscored their opposition 595-222.
Scotland County beat Southern Durham 53-31 during the regular season and overwhelmed Heritage 56-21 in the playoffs.