In a battle between two of the biggest surprises in the Piedmont in 2009 Dalton Dillon’s 1yd plunge and an ensuing 2pt conversion pass from Austin Pauley to Rende Ferguson concluded a 4th quarter rally as Northwest Guilford stunned Smith 15-14 Friday night at Manzi Stadium.
Smith actually had complete control of the contest for the first three periods. The ball hawking Eagle defense opened the scoring on the first play of the contest as Mylas Morris scooped up a Matthew Pawlowski fumble and rumbled approximately 10 yards on the games opening possesion. Elijah Jordan padded the Smith advantage with a ten yard score late in the 2nd period as Smith went to intermission dominantly ahead 14-0.
At the start of the 2nd half in an effort to jump start their sputtering offense Northwest successfully executed an onside kick. The Eagles defense continued their dominance though forcing a three and out. What the onside kick ended up doing though was changing the field position battle squarely into the Vikings favor. The poor field position Smith was stuck with in the third period affected their play calling giving the Vikings a chance to regroup.
Midway thru the period the Vikings finally got their legs and drove all the way to the Smith one. The Eagles defense however held firm finally thwarting the advance for good as Austin Pauley was stuffed on fourth and goal on the one ]. The reprieve was short lived however as Smith had to punt back to the Vikings giving Northwest the ball at the Eagles 30, Five plays and 2:44 later the Smith advantage was cut in half as Pawlowski connected on a 25yd TD pass to Jordan Browning with 10:55 to play.
On their ensuing possesion Smith appeared to be ready to put the Vikings away. But a drive inside the Northwest 20 fizzled and the Vikings blocked the Eagles FG attempt. Again the Eagles defense stiffened. The football gods are fickle though and three plays later a Jordan fumble with 3:40 to play gave Northwest the opening they needed. six plays later on a 4th and goal Dillion’s score cut the gap to 14-13. The ensuing conversion was a bit of daring-do from the Northwest staff as Pauley’s pass to Ferguson was born from a bit of trickery in the Vikings swinging gate set-up the Vikings are noted for executing on conversion attempts. Any hopes of a Smith comeback were quickly quellled as a desperation pass Codie Davis was intercepted to seal the Eagles fate.