Southeast Raleigh senior wide receiver JaQuell Taylor caught two touchdown passes to help the Bulldogs nip Knightdale 12-10 on Friday night.
Southeast Raleigh converted two fumbles into short touchdown drives that Taylor finished with scoring catches of 5 yards in the third quarter and 11 yards with 3:07 left.
Southeast Raleigh improved to 4-4 overall and 3-1 in conference play, while the Knights dropped to 3-5 and 1-3.
Taylor’s game-winning touchdown catch was on a ball thrown high by quarterback Cameron Marshmon for the 6-foot-2, 180-pound junior to pull down over the defense.
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The score was three plays after junior safety Isaiah Martin recovered a fumble on a first-down pass completion at midfield and returned it 30 yards to Knightdale’s 12-yard line.
“I hit him first and then my teammate hit him and the ball came out,” said Martin, referring to Lae’Quan Sellers. “The ball was loose and I picked it up and ran. That was a physical game. It’s great to win on homecoming.”
Knightdale reached midfield with one final drive, but Derrick Sloan, a 6-foot-2, 280-pound junior, broke through the offensive line for a crushing 10-yard sack that killed the possession.
Southeast Raleigh trailed 10-0 at halftime, and the comeback began in the third quarter. Quion Harris recovered a fumble at Knightdale’s 14-yard line. Taylor scored on a 5-yard fade to the left corner of the end zone on a pass from Dylan Parham.
The game opened with Knightdale jumping on its first opportunity when Southeast Raleigh attempted an onside kick that the Knights recovered at their 49-yard line.
The Knights drove 51 yards in eight plays with running back Taurez Williams scoring from the 1-yard. V-Lyle Walker’s extra point gave the Knights a 7-0 lead only 3:55 into the contest.
Southeast Raleigh’s second fumble at the 50 on a punt return was recovered by the Knights’ Corey Wiggins.
The turnover gave Knightdale the ball back at its 48-yard line. They drove to Southeast Raleigh’s 17-yard line before settling for a 34-yard field goal from Walker with 4.8 seconds remaining in the half.