WELCOME — First Flight High School drove six hours and 312 miles on Friday, only to crash on takeoff less than five minutes after the opening kickoff last night.
That’s how long it took North Davidson to score three touchdowns, igniting an 49-12 rout of the outmanned Nighthawks from Kill Devil Hills in a first-round game in the Class 2-AA football playoffs at Palmer Field.
Kobe Brown scored three touchdowns, Darain Green — promoted from the junior varsity last week — ran for two touchdowns, and Landon Moore ran for one touchdown and passed for another.
And that was just the first half.
Thanks to a 36-yard return of an onside kick and a pass interception, North Davidson led 21-0 less than 4½ minutes into the game. It was 35-0 at the end of the first quarter and 49-0 slightly less than four minutes into the second quarter, with the Black Knights scoring touchdowns on their first seven offensive possessions.
“We couldn’t have asked for much of a better start,” said Coach Brian Flynn of North Davidson, whose team improved to 10-2 overall. “With two weeks off, how are we going to respond, coming off a loss? I’m super proud; we got it. They were ready.”
The win put the third-seeded Black Knights into the second round next Friday against the winner of last night’s game between St. Paul’s and Burlington Cummings. The game will be played at North Davidson.
“For me, it seemed like the longest first quarter ever, with all those stoppages after touchdowns,” Flynn said. “It was just a credit to our guys. We had a great two weeks of practice. We took what they gave us at first, when they were playing a three-man front. We ran the ball. And it was 21-0 with barely two minutes off the clock. It’s tough to overcome that.”
North Davidson scored on the second play of the game, with Brown going 14 yards up the middle after defensive back Logan White scooped up a First Flight onside kick on the opening kickoff, returning it from midfield to the 14.
An interception by North Davidson’s Evan Vanmeter on First Flight’s first offensive play led to Moore’s 1-yard quarterback sneak for a touchdown just 1:14 into the game, and after a three-and-out by the Nighthawks’ offense, the Black Knights went 52 yards in five plays, with Brown scoring from the 1 with 7:32 left in the first quarter.
“We’re not made to hold up a team like them, so we knew we had to take some risks,” said Coach Jim Prince of First Flight, the fourth-place team in the Northeastern Coastal 2-A, which fell to 5-7. “We tried the onside kick on the first play, and they ran it down there, then we call a screen pass and get an interception on the next play. They’re just a great-coached team, an excellent football team.”
An interception by defensive back Jason Foltz set up Green’s 23-yard scoring run with 1:54 left in the quarter, and a third interception, this time a spectacular one-handed pick by Themus Fulks, set up Brown’s 42-yard run with 27.4 seconds left in the quarter to make it 35-0.
Green went five yards for a score at the 9:48 mark of the second quarter, and Moore hit Fulks with a 24-yard touchdown pass with 7:55 to play, pushing Fulks past the 1,000-yard mark in receiving for the season.
Moore, who completed six of nine passes for 100 yards, said North Davidson was sharp in its two weeks of workouts after a season-ending 9-7 loss to Ledford.
“We had good practices all week coming back from our loss to Ledford,” he said. “Coming out, Logan White got that onsides kick on the opening kickoff and returned it way down inside their 20, and we scored. It was just a great start.”
First Flight scored meaningless touchdowns against North Davidson reserves in the third and fourth quarters, with Ethan Driver catching a 16-yard touchdown pass from McCoy Davenport and Parker Sylvia running 32 yards for another score.
North Davidson 49 First Flight 12
First Flight 0 0 6 6 — 12
North Davidson 35 14 0 0 — 49
ND — Brown 14 run (Skotthy kick)
ND — Moore 1 run (Marion kick)
ND — Brown 1 run (Skotthy kick)
ND — Greene 23 run (Marion kick)
ND — Brown 42 run (Skotthy kick)
ND — Green 5 run (Marion kick)
ND — Fulks 24 pass from Moore (Skotthy kick)
FF — Driver 16 pass from Davenport (pass failed)
FF — Sylvia 32 run (pass failed)