Wilson, Knights blanked in debut
Northern wasn’t sharp Friday night, suffering a 46-0 setback on the road against Southeast Guilford.
It was the type of season-opening loss that didn’t require a lot of fussing after the game, Northern first-year coach R.J. Wilson said.
“The scoreboard does enough to get their attention,” Wilson said.
Southeast Guilford put Northern in the hole early when C.J. McThay dug into the Knights’ defense for 65 yards on the second play from scrimmage, leaving the ball on the 6-yard line for Shakir Turner to plunge into the end zone on the next play.
The Falcons kept soaring, scoring on a 45-yard interception return by Nick Steele and a 4-yard dive by Victor Barnes, a 240-pound defensive lineman who was in the backfield for Southeast Guilford’s jumbo package, set up by an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty by a Northern linebacker Jacob Bierman.
Wilson said he expects Bierman to miss the next two games on account of the accompanying penalty that the N.C. High School Athletic Association attaches to ejections, and he is one of the defensive strengths for Northern.
“Big time — that’s a character mistake,” Wilson said. “It’s not indicative of the program, but it’s something you can correct yourself.”
It was the sort of mistake that ruined the season opener for Northern. The Knights blew assignments and didn’t take care of the football, yet Wilson took some solace in knowing that those mistakes also are correctable.
Southeast Guilford coach Fritz Hessenthaler said Northern looked very athletic on film.
“I expected the game to be a lot different than what it was,” Hessenthaler said.
The interception that fell into Steele’s hands occurred after Northern quarterback Zaaqhai Mann got discombobulated while scrambling, heaving a pass into the middle of the field where there were no teammates.
Northern’s luck was so bad that the Knights had several players get their hands on a third-quarter Southeast Guilford fumble in the red zone, but the Falcons recovered it on the 6-yard line — leaving a couple of injured Northern players laid out on the field — and scored.
It was that type of night for the Knights.
SE Guilford 46, Northern 0
SG—Shakir Turner, 6 run (C.J. McThay run), 11:22
SG—McThay, 38 run (Khaleed Boswell run), 11:54 SG —Greg Liggs, 45 int. (kick failed), 11:07 SG—Victor Barnes, 4 run (run failed), 6:06
SG—Boswell, 6 run (kick failed), 1:08
SG—Boswell, 1 run (kick failed), 8:55 SG—Micah Nelson, 8 run (kick failed), 4:32
RUSHING—Northern, Alphonso Gbojueh 14-40, Zaaqhai Mann 13-28; Southeast Guilford, C.J. McThay 11-144 TD, Styles Jennings 7-58 TD
PASSING—Northern, Mann 2-7-6, Griffin Baker 1-3-8; Southeast, Bubba Craven 4-6-61
RECEIVING—Northern, Johnathon Branch 1-8; Southeast, Boswell 1-29, James Smith 1-16
RECORDS —Northern 0-1; Southeast Guilford 1-0