Southern Nash's Kendall Parker closes in on Northern Nash's Kendrick Richardson during Friday's game at Northern Nash High School.
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Telegram photo / Emma Tannenbaum

Southern Nash's Kendall Parker closes in on Northern Nash's Kendrick Richardson during Friday's game at Northern Nash High School.

Southern Shines: Firebirds rout Knights in Nash County showdown

By Nick Piotrowicz

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Every time Southern Nash coach Brian Foster sees a rainbow or a shooting star, he takes it as a message: Everything is going to be good.
Either sign reminds him of his brother Jarrett, a
former assistant track coach at Clemson who died in a watercraft accident in 2006.
When Foster saw a perfect rainbow over the Firebirds’ football complex Thursday, he immediately was ready to play Friday’s game against Northern Nash.
And everything was more than good. The Firebirds were dominant on both sides of the ball, defeating the Knights, 35-14, on Friday at Northern Nash High School.
“I was just ready to play,” Foster said. “I thought we still hadn’t played to our potential yet, and when I saw that rainbow, it was like he was telling me everything’s going to be all right.”
Southern Nash (6-1, 2-0 Big East Conference) played pretty close to its potential against Northern Nash (2-5, 0-2), outgaining the Knights by nearly a two-to-one margin.
The Firebirds’ offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage against the Knights. Running back Rashid Campbell rushed for 176 yards on 17 carries, and he was one of four Firebirds to find the end zone.
“Our linemen really fight for us,” Campbell said. “They’re the ones out there making sure we don’t get hurt and we  have room to gain yards. I love that about them.”
Southern Nash took a 14-0 lead into halftime due to first-quarter rushing touchdowns by Desmon Jackson and Taylor Finch, then gave itself a three-score lead thanks to a key sequence early in the third quarter.
Northern Nash moved the ball inside the red zone, but the Firebirds were able to hold Quez Avent to one yard on fourth-and-two from the 12 yard-line.
Campbell ran for 49 yards on the next play, then Finch scored from 39 yards away the following snap.
“We’re just not playing consistent enough,” Northern Nash coach Mickey Crouch said. “We’ll play two good plays, then one bad one, or one great one, then three bad ones. It’s just not consistent.”
Avent shortened the lead to 22-6 with a score later in the third quarter, but the Firebirds responded with 10-play touchdown drive that took 5:17 off the clock.
Both teams scored another touchdown, though the final result never was in jeopardy for the
For Foster, it fit.
“I just don’t understand how anybody can play this game, love this game, and not go,” Foster said. “You gotta go for it. Maybe they did that for me (Friday).”

Southern Nash 35
Northern Nash 14
SN             14    0    8    13    –    35
NN            0    0    6    8    –    14
First Quarter
SN – Desmon Jackson 11 run (Sergio Penaloza kick); 4:09
SN – Taylor Finch 23 run (Penaloza kick); 0:12
Third Quarter
SN – Finch 39 run (Rashid Campbell conversion); 7:40
NN – Quez Avent 4 run (conversion fails); 2:51
Fourth Quarter
SN – Campbell 4 run (conversion fails); 9:31
SN – Zomonia Knight 11 run (Penaloza kick); 2:04
NN – Kendrick Richardson 2 run (Avent conversion); 0:54
19    First downs...............10
50–374    Rushes-yards....32–201
19    Passing yards...........108
2–5–0    Passes..................9–19–1
393    Total offense.........210
0–0    Fumbles-Lost.........2–0
12–95    Penalties-Yards.....6–36
Individual Statistics
Rushing – SN: Campbell 17-176; Finch 10-87; Jackson 7-61; Knight 2-26; Grant Jones 2-23; Sebastian Oneal 5-13; Richard Hall 1-6; Team 1-(-1); Deon Lavender 5-(-11). NN: Richardson 8-43; Avent 10-37; Marquez Farmer 5-20; Jamayis Rosser 5-6; Quay Mann 4-4.
Passing – SN: Lavender 2-5-0, 19. NN: Farmer 8-16-0, 98; Jacob Green 1-3-0, 10.
Receiving – SN: Campbell 1-21; Chi-Ali Bunn 1-(-2). NN: Richardson 3-42; Michael Bertolino 2-42; Donte McNeil 3-15; Avent 1-9.

Nick Piotrowicz can be reached at 407-9952 or npiotrowicz@