Nation Ford’s Ty Keaton scored again on Friday night in the Falcons win over White Knoll in Lexington. Photo by Rob Upton

By David Thackham


LEXINGTON – When the Nation Ford Falcons win, they dance.

And everyone on the Falcons roster was bouncing with joy to blaring hip-hop in the White Knoll High locker room following Nation Ford’s 35-6 non-region win Friday night over the hometown Timberwolves.

Sophomore quarterback Carson Black, who went 19-of-30 for 320 yards, threw five passing touchdowns to three different receivers to spur Nation Ford to a convincing win in Lexington.

“This gives us so much confidence,” said junior receiver Jerrick Foster, who snagged two scores. “When we win, we dance. That’s our trophy.”

Nation Ford (2-2) entered the contest following a heart-breaking one-point loss last week to Region 3-5A foe Gaffney. Foster said the team was looking to vent its collective frustration on White Knoll.

Nation Ford’s offense was sputtering early, but got a kickstart just before the end of the first quarter when the sophomore Black found fellow sophomore receiver Kenan Bowman, who had four catches for 76 yards, for a 61-yard gain to put the Falcons into White Knoll territory for the first time.

Black then hit junior receiver Quadier Hand, who had four catches for 59 yards and two touchdowns, for an 18-yard scoring reception just four plays later to put Nation Ford up 7-0.

White Knoll answered back two drives later when they squeaked into the end zone on a jet-sweep from 12-yards out with 5:58 left to play in the second quarter. Kicker Yahir Nunez-Leija’s point-after attempt bounced off the left upright post, keeping the score at 7-6 Nation Ford.

Nation Ford’s defense set the Falcons up for success just before halftime. Linebacker Callan Sobas sacked White Knoll’s Ramsey for a large loss, setting the Timberwolves back in a fourth and forever deep in their own half.

Nation Ford burned all three of its touchdowns to give Black and the offense another drive with less than 30 seconds left before halftime.

“We tried our best to get a stop, and we knew we’d have some time left, so we saved our timeouts,” said Falcons’ head coach Michael Allen. “We wanted to get the ball in the middle of the field, and Carson did it for us.”

Black only needed one play to find Foster, who had five catches for 91 yards, for a 42-yard score. Foster caught the pass on the White Knoll 20 and evaded his defender to make it 14-6 heading into the locker room.

“My O-line gave me the time today and my receivers made great plays for me,” Black said. “I know where they’re gonna be, and we have that chemistry.”

The offense came out hungry in the second half. Black found senior receiver Ty Keaton for a 10-yard touchdown before spotting Hand from 34-yards out on the very next Falcons drive to give Nation Ford a 28-6 lead with 5:16 left in the third quarter.

Foster picked up his second touchdown of the night early in the fourth quarter when he got open on the left side of the end zone, grabbed a zipping Black pass and toe-tapped both feet inbounds.

“Carson works hard, and he’s maturing week in, week out,” Allen said. “He knows he’s got an offensive line that fights their tails off, a running back who grinds it out, and there’s 10 other guys on that field, operating together.”

White Knoll was unable to advance further than Nation Ford’s 28-yard line in the fourth quarter. White Knoll only converted four of its 14 third down opportunities in the contest, compared to Nation Ford’s 7-of-12 third-down conversions.

Nation Ford backup quarterback Daniel Childs, a junior, came in relief for Black in the final couple drives of the game.

Allen said this win will prove a good motivator heading back into region play next week.

Nation Ford next travels to play Clover High School Oct. 23 in a region matchup.

Nation Ford 35, White Knoll 6


Second quarter

NF – Quadier Hand 18-yard scoring reception from quarterback Carson Black, 11:34

WK — TJ Peebles 12-yard scoring reception from Kennedy Ramsey, 5:58

NF – Jerrick Foster 42-yard scoring reception from Black, 22.4 seconds

Third quarter

NF – Ty Keaton 10-yard scoring reception from Black, 9:05

NF – Quadier Hand 34-yard scoring reception from Black, 5:15

Fourth quarter

NF – Jerrick Foster 6-yard scoring reception from Black, 11:18