No Clayton High School football player had ever caught touchdown passes in eight straight games.
But Clayton junior Devin Carter set a new standard on a wet Friday night at Nixon-Fowler Stadium.
Carter caught 10 passes on the night including a six-yard touchdown toss from John Ross Parrish in the third quarter, helping solidify the Comets’ 36-7 homecoming rout of Greater Neuse River 4A foe Knightdale.
The win was the sixth straight for Clayton (6-1, 3-0 GNRC) under new head coach Hunter Jenks. Clayton has beaten Knightdale (1-6, 1-2) three straight times and won 10 of the last 11 meetings.
Macaleb Robertson scored one touchdown on the ground and grabbed a 44-yard scoring pass from Austin Cagle, who was 16-for-32 in the air.
“I thought we handled ourselves well all week,” Jenks said. “We responded well and got a win. The players have bought into what we’re preaching. We’re process-oriented. The scoreboard says we won 36-7 but we know we’ve got to be better next week. The way we played might not be good enough to beat Garner. Talent makes a coach look good, and when you have two players like (Carter and Robertson) who also work hard every day it’s a real plus for a football team.”
Knightdale scored on its first possession, with D.J. Conner going in from a yard out to end a 13-play, 78-yard drive.
But the Comets responded with a quick six-play drive, with Brock Swackhammer bulling in from a yard out.
Clayton added another score in the second on Robertson’s reception from Cagle.
The Knights had a chance to tie at half when Conner intercepted a pass in the end zone and sprinted 70 yards before Corbin Northern tackled him with no time left.
And Clayton broke it open in the third on Robertson’s six-yard run and Carter’s catch from Parrish.
Northern’s tackle that foiled the interception return. Clayton scored on its first two possessions of the second half.
THEY SAID IT
“We really executed well on the first drive,” said Knightdale coach Anthony Timmons, whose team was coming off a 15-14 win over Rolesville. “It should have been 14-14 at halftime, and that tackle was kind of a pivotal moment. (Carter) is a special kid. I would love to have that him myself. Any time you’re in a pinch you can just toss it up.”
THREE TO KNOW
Devin Carter, wide receiver, Clayton: The 6-foot-4 junior has caught 15 total TD passes from Parrish, Cagle and Landen Leiser this season.
“I’ve caught a lot of good passes,” Carter said. “It’s great winning like this. We listen to the coaching staff and work hard every day and continue to improve.”
Austin Cagle, quarterback, Clayton: The sophomore has thrown six TD passes in four games played this season.
Macaleb Robertson, wide receiver, Clayton: The junior has caught six TD passes and rushed for two more this season.
“I’m just thankful to be on this kind of team,” Robertson said. “We push each other every day and try to get better every day.”
BY THE NUMBERS
46: Rushing yards from Knightdale’s Kenneth Jones.
50: Rushing yards from Parrish.
161: Receiving yards for Carter.
164: Yards total offense for Knightdale.
245: Passing yards for Cagle.
259: Passing yards for Clayton.
The Comets visit Garner on Friday night.
Knightdale hosts Southeast Raleigh on Friday.