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Knights strike down the Warriors

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KNIGHTDALE — The Knightdale High football squad stated its case as the current arch-rivalry ruler vs East Wake, even if it did not totally state that fact during the fourth series victory in a row last Friday with a 41-6 blowout at home.

In fact, the 2-0 Knights inflicted 27 points worth of damage while gaining only four first downs the last 24 minutes. Nonetheless, what was once a 14-6 tug-o-war halfway through was all-hosts by the final tick.

The favored crew looked exactly like it along the opening two drives. Both were capped by Trevion Cooley (20 carries, 139 yards) scoring scampers and Brett Poirier PATs.

The visiting Warriors (0-2) cracked the enemy armor with an 82-yard Deaunti Lucas-to-Shamar Privette deep post pass which weaved past the pursuers with over four minutes left in the first frame. From there, 12 combined penalties marred the intense match-up and negated two Knightdale touchdowns the rest of the half.

To begin the third, Knight Donovan Spellman ripped the ball out of the kickoff returner’s hands and recovered at the Warrior one-yard line. Knightdale quarterback Dax Hardy (six rushes, 23 yards; 4-of-9 passing, 100 yards) promptly snuck in to rebuild some cushion. Poirier’s bonus made it 21-6.

On Knightdale’s ensuing offensive possession, Hardy hit Evan McCray in stride for a 67-yard catch-and-carry. Nickili Mohammad (three totes, 18 yards) smashed across from 7 yards out on the next snap. Poirier pushed the Knights in front, 28-6.

East Wake was next intercepted by Demarcus Hockaday, who rerouted the pick 50 yards to the opponent’s doorstep. There, Mohammad knifed the other seven yards to obtain the 34-6 edge with 4:23 left in the third.

Midway through the fourth period, Cooley cut out of an inside dive and turned the corner on a 42-yard blast. Poirier secured the widest margin with 7:30 unresolved.

The Warriors ventured as far as the Knight 13 down the stretch after a 57-yard Xavier Hinton sweep, but they were stifled by a Knight defense which bent but broke only once. Knightdale allowed 261 total yards on 51 plays (32 for 159 rushing, 8-of-19, 102 passing).

On the flip side, the Knights accumulated 326 total yards on 49 tries (including 40 rushes for 228 yards and six touchdowns). The biggest wrenches in its plans were eight penalties netting 79 yards and the persistence of Warrior linebacker Braxton Bowser (16 tackles).