North Johnston methodically increased its lead against a winless, but stubborn host Smithfield-Selma football squad here Friday night, taking a 27-0 non-conference win.
The Panthers scored a touchdown in every quarter and got its first shutout of the season from the defense in pushing its record to 4-1, with a tough match with another county rival, South Johnston, on the horizon.
Quarterback Trey Whitley threw a pair of touchdown passes in the first half — a 35-yarder to Benjamin Juramillo and a 33-yarder to Tanner Gibson — for a 13-0 lead. Matthew Griswold returned an interception 20 yards for the third score and Treshawn McPhatter ended the scoring with a 43-yard touchdown run late in the game.
SSS (0-5) was hanging tough, down just 6-0 late in the half, but North Johnston moved 68 yards for a touchdown in the final 1:32 of the second quarter, with Gibson scoring on the33-yard pass from Whitley with just half a second left in the half.
They said it
“We played hard the whole game and that’s what it takes for us to win,” Panthers coach Ashley Ennis said. “We’ve still got a long ways to go and with South coming in next week, that’s another big challenge for us.”
Three (or Six) who mattered
Ethan Williams, Cy Daughtry, and Caleb Williams, North Johnston: The defensive front secured the shutout with a stop on a fourth-and-goal play from the 1-yard line by the Spartans.
“They got good surge up front and then the linebackers filled in,” Ennis said. “The defense fought hard all night long.”
Trey Whitley, North Johnson: The sophomore quarterback completed 8 of 11 passes for 123 yards, two trouchdowns and no interceptions.
Raequan Smith, Smithfield-Selma: The senior runningback led the Spartans with 67 yard rushing.
By The Numbers
7: • Points a tired SSS defense gave up in the second half and that score came with just 2:53 left in the contest.
• The number of points scored by the North Johnston defense, on an interception return by Matthew Griswold in the third period.
95: Yards North’s speedy Treshaw McPhatter had on three carries in the second half.