Knightdale improved to 5-0 for the first time in school history with a convincing 41-17 win over Enloe on Friday night.
Perhaps the Knights had some convincing to do — to themselves and to football fans across the Triangle.
Before taking on the Eagles, Knightdale was 4-0 by defeating South Granville, East Wake, South Garner and West Johnston, four teams that had zero wins heading into Friday night. Granted, Knightdale can’t do anything about its opponents records, but their first four weeks made it hard to fairly gauge its resume. After the dominating win over Enloe (3-2), it looks like the Knights are for real.
“I understand that the critics said our first four games were against (teams) that couldn’t play,” Knightdale coach Anthony Timmons told the N&O after the game. “But we can’t control our schedule. We just have to focus on us. This was a good test, it was a great game, but our focus is on us getting better week by week.”
Knights’ junior running back Trevion Cooley was unstoppable against Enloe, rushing for three touchdowns, two coming in the first half. Cooley scored on runs of 7, 3 and 35 yards, giving him 10 rushing scores this season.
Quarterback Dax Hardy added two touchdown runs of his own to counter Cooley, who cooled down the Eagles after Daekwon Rogers took the opening kickoff 90 yards for the score.
Timmons wanted to see how his team would handle adversity — it was the first time it trailed in a game all year — and even that didn’t last long. On the following drive, Knightdale drove the length of the field in less than three minutes, capped off by Cooley’s first touchdown of the night.
“It put a lot of pressure on us (when Enloe scored first), and we weren’t expecting that,” Cooley said. “It felt great (to answer) because at any given time we might need to rely on our offense.”
Knightdale’s defense set up its second score after Ishawn Shoulars picked off a pass near midfield. Micah Sumpter gave the Knights a 20-7 lead early in the second after the turnover.
Enloe cut the lead to six at the break, but Knightdale sent a message, scoring 14 consecutive points to start the third quarter, putting the game out of reach and making a name for itself across the state.
The next big test will be Friday against Grimsley out of Greensboro, which also entered Week 4 at 4-0.
But for now, Knightdale will celebrate being 5-0 and proving it is legit.
“We are coached up very well,” Cooley said. “I don’t think it’s a fluke.”
E — Rogers 90-yard kickoff return (Marjan kick)
K — Cooley 7-yard run (Poirie kick)
K — Cooley 3-yard run (Poirie kick)
K — Sumpter 3-yard run (Kick failed)
E — Wortham 10-yard run (Marjan kick)
K — Cooley 35-yard run (Poirie kick)
K — Hardy 8-yard run (Poirie kick)
E — Marjan 36-yard field goal
K — Hardy 1-yard run (Poirie kick)
OTHER TOP PERFORMANCES
CARDINAL GIBBONS DEFENSE
The Crusaders bounced back from last week’s loss to Richmond County, going on the road and blowing out previous undefeated Cleveland, 36-0.
Cleveland came into the contest averaging more than 40 points per game, and it was the first time in school history the Rams have been blanked.
That would be Southern Durham. The Spartans have now won three in a row after defeating Wakefield 26-21 Friday night.
The Rolesville Rams remained perfect, defeating Broughton, 41-21. The Rams and Knights are both in the Northern 4A conference, which has three undefeated teams. The third is Corinth Holders.
Northern Durham and Hillside started their game in Week 1, but it got cut short because of lightning. The two teams from the Bull City resumed the contest Friday night, picking up with Hillside leading 7-3. But Northern took advantage this time around, winning 16-14.