It's been a while. However, sweet victory finally arrived for the North Forsyth football team. 

And it came on the back of a strong ground game spurred by Joseph Terry, a 5-foot-9 sophomore, and stout defense led by Jeremiah Howard. The Vikings defeated Carver 18-14 on Friday night at Nifong-Crafford Stadium in what was the conference opener for both teams within the Western Piedmont Athletic 2-A. 

It's been quite a few years since North Forsyth tasted victory. The Vikings (1-4, 1-0) last won a game on Sept. 22, 2017. That came when North Forsyth competed in the Piedmont Triad 3-A — the team moved down to Class 2-A at the beginning of the 2019-20 school year following approval from the NCHSAA in November. It was a 34-25 win over Western Guilford in conference play, and the team ended the season at 1-10. 

And the Vikings had been outscored 831-166 against opponents in 20 games since then — at least, before Friday night. 

The win against the Yellowjackets also marked Jay Blair's first career victory as the head coach at North Forsyth. He was hired in January to replace Pete Gilchrist, who resigned earlier that month following a 12-year tenure with the Vikings. 

Terry scored every touchdown for North Forsyth, ending the night with 95 yards rushing while scoring twice in the first half alone. Overall, he finished with three touchdowns. 

And the first stemmed off a big play from Howard after a scoreless first quarter. The 6-foot-2 senior defensive tackle made a sack on Jaquez Sims, the Yellowjackets' quarterback, on fourth down to force a turnover.

It was Howard's first of five sacks on the night, and his second to force a turnover — the last came in the third quarter with 10:52 left. 

And then it was Terry's turn to push North Forsyth ahead. A 33-yard pass from starting quarterback Marque Hall to Marquez Hurst started the drive. A 37-yard carry from Terry ended it, as he ran in the end zone for a touchdown with 10:55 remaining in the first half. 

North Forsyth got another touchdown on the following drive to take a 12-0 lead. On third down with 2:56 left, Terry took a handoff from Deshaun Jones Jr., one of the team's two quarterbacks along with Hall, for a 5-yard run up the middle. 

Terry scored the final time in the third quarter as 3:19 remained— again, after a costly turnover by the Yellowjackets (2-3, 0-1) — as North Forsyth widened its lead 18-0. After a fumble from sophomore running back Jamari Blackburn to position the Vikings at the Carver 17, Terry scored on a 10-yard touchdown run as he sprinted to the outside. 

But Carver held on — nearly until the end. 

With just under seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the Yellowjackets trudged 88 yards to score. The drive ended with Sims running up the middle for a 6-yard touchdown on second down to trail 18-8. He followed it up with a successful conversion pass to Devon Hampton. 

North Forsyth fumbled on the next drive with 6:26 left, as the Yellowjackets took over at their own 48. Sims, again, ran it in three yards on fourth down. A conversion for Carver failed on an incomplete pass. 

The Yellowjackets had a last-ditch drive with just under 2:30 remaining in the game. Howard, however, prevented it. He sacked Sims on third-and-21 at the Carver 11. An incomplete pass came on fourth down for a turnover. 

Terry finished the game with a 9-yard rush to the Yellowjackets' 2-yard line as time ran out. 

The Vikings move on to face North Surry in Toast on Oct. 4. Carver, which through four games played has experienced its best start since 2015, travels to Walkertown. 

North Forsyth 18 Carver 14 

Carver;0;0;0;14;—;14

North Forsyth;0;12;6;0;—;18

NF — Joseph Terry 37 run (Kick failed)

NF — Terry 5 run (Kick failed)

NF — Terry 10 run (Kick failed)

CHS — Sims 6 quarterback keeper (Conversion good)

CHS — Sims 3 quarterback keeper (Conversion failed) 

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pferlise@wsjournal.com

@PatrickFerlise

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