North’s Defense leads Knights to First Victory of 2016 at Polk

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Mikey Smithers (25) returns a interception for a Touchdown Friday Night vs. Polk County Photo Credit: Brandon Netto

By: Brad Cole

The North Henderson football team had some hiccups to start off their second game of the season against Polk, but that wouldn’t be the case for the rest of the game as the Knights beat Polk County, 19-­14.

In the first quarter, North fumbled the ball on the very first play, which would lead to a Polk touchdown to make it 7-­0. It appeared history might repeat itself as Polk once again got to the red zone, but Mikey Smithers came in the clutch and took a 86 yard interception to the endzone to make it an even 7­-7. “I just did what I needed to do for my defense”, the senior said on his Pick 6.

North’s special teams also came in handy as they blocked a punt and Gabe Walker fell on it to make the score 13-­7 after North missed an extra point attempt. Going into the half, North had the advantage with that same score.

Polk County spent no time in making another scoring move early in the second half. Polk took a short pass to the end zone to have a 14-­13 lead over the Knights.

After Polk’s touchdown, North’s offense got in the picture after only having three possessions in the first half. Quarterback Kalin Ensley couldn’t find a receiver on a play in the red zone, so he took it in himself for an eleven yard rushing touchdown. After another missed extra point, North had a slim 19-14 lead over Polk.

A crucial moment in North’s win would come late in the 4th quarter when Polk was threatening to score, but the defense came in the clutch once again and forced a Polk turnover. North would go on to win 19­-14 as they would push the ball down the field and waste time to soak in their first win of the season.

Tonight’s win is also Coach Justin Clark’s first as a head coach. “Trying to get that monkey off your back is tough. It definitely feels special”, Clark said.

North’s next game is next Friday at Swain County at 7:30 pm.

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