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KNIGHTDALE — What was supposed to be a semi-pro football game looked an awful lot like Dungeons and Dragons at Knightdale High on Saturday. The eastern Wake-based Carolina Dragons inaugurated their new fall season home gridiron by imprisoning and blanking the Jacksonville Red Devils, 6-0.
The host tacklers reared up to make red-zone stops early in the first quarter, then late in the fourth stanza.
In between those key moments as well as plenty of stifling the rest of the way, Dragon kicker Trey Baker knocked in field goals from 23 and 38 yards out to account for all the scoring. A bad snap prevented another 48-yard attempt, and he veered wide left on a 36-yard chance.
This victory, though, hinged on the resistance. The bend-and-brake counterattack stranded Jacksonville time and time again. Dominique Williams recovered three Red Devil fumbles, Raymon Farmer rose to pick off a pass at the conclusion of the first half, then Demetrius Council erased the final-second threat with his interception.
Carolina quarterback Tariq Robinson operated the offensive controls. He navigated a drive as far as the Red Devil 1-yard line, where a fourth-down false start penalty forced the Baker opening field goal instead. Robinson later hit Tyler Chapman on a 36-yard fly to invade the Jacksonville 20. Baker was called on and delivered again.
Ahead 6-0 to begin the fourth, the Dragons appeared to apply the stranglehold when it cage a Jacksonville ball carrier behind the goal-line stripe. They yelled for a safety, but the referee decreed forward progress. Carolina would prevent any gains from there, and took over at the Red Devil 35 following a punt.
Five plays later, Baker’s insurance boot missed its mark about 1-yard left of the target posts.
Back-to-back late-hit and interference penalties moved Jacksonville to the Carolina 30 in the last minute. On the climaxing play, a loft toward the center of the secondary was secured by the soaring Council.
The 3-0 Dragons continued its schedule-long shutout streak. They currently ranks tops among the Coastal Atlantic Football Association division. Its next home game is Saturday, Oct. 12, at 7 p.m.