Knights' struggles continue against Wilson Fike
BY SAMUEL EVERS
Friday, October 27, 2017
From the first play from the line of scrimmage, the tone for Northern Nash was put in play.
At a disappointing 1-8 entering Friday and playing in front of their home crowd for the last time in 2017, the Knights figured they didn’t have a whole lot to lose.
So they ran a trick play.
Quarterback Davontae Wiggins threw a backwards pass to wide receiver Darquez Flowers, who faked a run then squared up to pass, hitting Trevor Sledge down the left sideline for a 31 yard pass.
Six plays later, they were in the endzone.
That opening score helped hold off Wilson Fike for a halftime lead, but the momentum finally wore off when the Demons (7-3) stormed back to seize the control and eventually a 33-23 win.
The Knights (1-9) held early leads of 9-0 and, at half, 15-13, then went cold for most of the second half while Fike did the opposite.
“It’s been a thing the whole season,” said senior Bryce Myles, who finished with 70 yards rushing for Northern Nash. “We played great in the first half but we couldn’t keep it together. We just wanted to come out swinging.”
Wiggins finished with 191 yards passing on 13 of 25 passing, completing all three of the Knights’ touchdowns through the air. The first was on the first series of the game, a 30-yard strike to Nyeem Davis.
Travis Smith added a field goal on the next drive from 27 yards out for the 9-0 lead, but Fike’s Cody Cooper-Speight, who totaled three touchdowns for the Demons, answered back with a big play of his own, a 29-yard run to the end zone.
Both added another score for a 15-13 Knight lead at the break, but, unfortunately for Northern Nash, the Fike running game was just getting started.
The Demons scored three more times in the second half -- all on the ground -- while the subdued Knights only managed one by the time they were already down 11 points.
“We probably should have done more running the whole game,” said Fike coach Tom Nelson, whose quarterback, Jaelynn Melton, threw two consecutive interceptions to begin the half. “We tried to throw the ball a little bit. We threw it to them several times, I thought our offensive line did a good job and came up big at the end.”
A 61-yard touchdown run by Cody Cooper-Speight and a goal line dash by Justin Daniels gave the Demons a 26-15 lead with nine minutes left in the game.
That’s when the Knights, showing their only offensive spark of the second half, finally broke through on a five-play, 80-yard drive capped by a touchdown connection between Wiggins and Sledge, who finished with 86 receiving yards and a touchdown.
A two-point conversion brought it to three, but the Demons took the ball the very next possession and effectively ended the game with a methodical touchdown drive to stretch the lead back to double-digits, which is how the game ended.
“Defense has been a thorn in our side. We’re so young on that side and the pressure gets to them a little bit. We make a mistake and we hang our heads,” said Northern Nash coach Randy Raper. “It’s disappointing. It’s been a disappointing season overall. But we got Rocky Mount next week. We’ll get up and our guys will play hard for that.”
Wilson Fike 7 6 6 14 - 33
Northern Nash 9 6 0 8 - 23
NN - Nyeem Davis 30 yard pass from Davontae Wiggins (kick fail)
NN - Travis Smith 27 yard field goal
WF - Cody Cooper-Speight 23 yard run (Walker Gliarmis kick)
NN - Da’shawn Liggins 23 yard pass from Wiggins (kick fail)
WF - Cooper-Speight 1 yard run (pass fail)
WF - Cooper-Speight 61 yard run (pass fail)
WF - Justin Daniels 3 yard run (Gliarmis kick)
NN - Sledge 30 yard pass from Wiggins (Wiggins pass)
Rushing: Bryce Miles 7-70.
Passing: Darquez Flowers 1-1 31 yards, Wiggins 13-25-3 191 yards.
Receiving: Sledge 4-86-1, Liggins 4-52-1, Davis 1-30-1.