By Tyler Bineham, Staff Writer
Village hosted the Statesville Lions on October 6 for the homecoming showdown. Since Hurricane Matthew was threatening to hit at any time, officials decided to move the game up a night. With a day less of practice that week, there was a sense of urgency from both sidelines as the two teams took the field that Thursday.
The game started off with a closely contested first quarter with the Statesville Lions getting on the board first with a 3-yard run. However, the defense got a hard-nosed stop on the goal line and the Lions’ two point conversion failed. The momentum from the defense carried on to the offense as the Knights responded with a score of their own. At the end of the first quarter the Knights led with a score of 7-6.
The second quarter began with a Statesville drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown run. The ensuing 2-point conversion was successful which put the score to 14-7. The Village offense sputtered often, and couldn’t get over self-inflicted mistakes, which led to a scoreless second quarter for the Knights. Statesville responded to every Village punt with a score of their own, resulting in a 34-7 halftime score.
The third quarter showed a flash of how potent the Knights’ special teams unit can be as Dj Whitfield returned a kickoff 85-yards for a touchdown to open up the second half. After another Statesville score, Jaden Niblet returned another kick off for 66-yards. The Lions ended the third quarter with a 6-yard rushing touchdown.
In the fourth quarter, the Knights defense shut out the Lions offense and prevented them from getting on the scoreboard. The last score was a 44-yard pass from Caleb Russell to Dae Dae Simmons. This led to a final score of 48-27 in Statesville’s favor.
After the game Simmons said, “Statesville was an all-around solid team. They found a way to take advantage of every mistake and never took their foot off the gas.”
The Knights look to get back on track, as they are scheduled to go to Trinity Christian Academy and Host Wake Christian Academy in the final two weeks of the season.