BY MICHAEL HELD
WILLIAMSTON—The Princeton football team traveled to Williamston to take on Riverside in the first round in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1AA playoffs last Friday night and from the opening drive, the game had a very similar feel as to the one from the season before.
The outcome, however, was the one difference the Bulldogs (7-5) didn’t like as the Knights outscored Princeton 70-51 to end the Bulldogs’ season on a chilly night.
One year after the Bulldogs outlasted Riverside 70-64 in a four-overtime offensive showcase, the same two teams combined for over 1,200 yards of offense in the rematch.
The Bulldogs had the first offensive possession on the night and needed just three plays to show Riverside its offense could work quite nicely despite having lost quarterback Rahjai McPhatter to injury the week before against Rosewood.
Wilkins found pay dirt from 45 yards out for the early lead and it soon became clear the Knights had absolutely no answer for Wilkins and the rest of the Princeton rushing attack.
However, the same could be said for the Riverside attack as the Knights scored on their first 10 possessions, often on quick drives highlighted by big plays.
Jadakis Bonds answered Wilkins’ early score with a 49-yard touchdown run on Riverside’s first offensive play on the night and the Knights then took the lead after the Bulldogs fumbled on their next series when Hunter Kinion found Ah’shaan Belcher on a 16-yard touchdown pass.
Princeton moved the ball down the field on its next possession and looked to be on the doorstep to taking the lead back when a completed pass deep in Knights’ territory was deemed to be thrown past the line of scrimmage.
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