Southern Nash beat rival Northern Nash in the regular season, winning the conference championship and getting the top seed out of the league in the state playoffs as a result. But for the second straight season, Northern Nash got the win in the playoffs.
In the second round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3A state playoffs, senior Randall King scored a late touchdown on a reception for Northern Nash, securing a 35-32 victory over Southern Nash, who was ranked 4th.
The game was evenly matched from the start.
Southern Nash scored first with a two-yard run by Jonathan Hines. Northern Nash responded with a 50-yard pass to King, resulting in a tied game of 6-6 for both teams.
In the first quarter, the Firebirds were ahead thanks to Tylik Mitchell’s 50-yard run. Despite a failed two-point conversion attempt, Southern Nash maintained a 12-6 lead.
In the second quarter, Northern Nash scored after only 10 seconds. Trey Battle ran for a 60-yard touchdown and the Knights successfully converted a two-point attempt, giving them a 14-12 lead. Later, Elijay Pitt threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to Jaquille Arrington, increasing Northern Nash’s lead to 21-12.
Despite Northern Nash’s struggles, Mitchell managed to keep them in the game. He scored a 30-yard touchdown with only 41 seconds left in the first half, bringing the score to 21-20 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Battle increased the Northern Nash lead by scoring a five-yard touchdown, bringing the Knights’ advantage to 28-20. However, Mitchell responded with a 65-yard run for a touchdown, but their attempt at a two-point conversion was unsuccessful. This left the Knights with a 28-26 lead.
With a little over five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Southern Nash took back the lead. Mitchell scored his fourth touchdown of the game with a five-yard run, giving the Firebirds a 32-28 advantage.
Northern Nash advanced down the field and King made a 20-yard catch for the final points of the game. The successful extra point gave the Knights a 35-32 advantage.
Next week, the Knights will take on either (21) Southern Durham or (5) Scotland in the third round of the playoffs. Northern Nash, who is currently 11-1 this season, is the reigning 3A eastern regional champion.
The season for Southern Nash concludes with a record of 10 wins and 2 losses.