KENLY — In a game that showcased a handful of big plays, Corinth Holders had the lions share en route to a 33-12 victory over rival North Johnston.
A stout Pirates defense forced a pair of drive-ending fumbles and Corinth Holders made the most of its opportunities to improve to 2-1 and the Panthers fell to 0-3.
First in the opening quarter and then again in the third, the Panthers moved the ball down the field and threatened to score before turnovers did them in.
Midway through the first quarter, after a Trey Daniels interception and return gave North Johnston the ball on the Pirates 17, but the Pirates Kendrick Cobb forced and recovered a fumble before rumbling 80 yards for a momentum-swinging touchdown.
Then in the third, North Johnston seemed poised to chip away at a two-score deficit before fumbling on the Corinth Holders 23.
I think we just developed some more toughness, Corinth Holders coach Barry Honeycutt said. We had some adverse situations and we just kept playing and definitely did enough good things to win.
Tori Carmichael did his part in providing the Pirates some spark.
He returned the opening kick off 68 yards to the Panthers 17 to set up Butler Collins 4-yard rushing TD three plays later for an early Corinth Holders lead.
Carmichael capped off his night and iced the game with a 54-yard punt return touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Despite Carmichaels big plays, North Johnston quarterback Montie Walker spearheaded a solid effort from the host Panthers as the senior ran for 128 yards and a score as well as threw for 137 more yards.
Quamel Kenion toughed out 63 yards and a score on the ground, while Gregory Bryant hauled in six catches for 65 yards to lead North Johnston.
The kids in the second half played their tails off; they played amazing, North Johnston coach Scott Meserve said. If we can come out and do that next week, well be alright.
Corinth Holders signal caller Cole Sakowski threw for 133 yards and a touchdown.