KNIGHTDALE — Coach Rob Senseney got one of the biggest cheers of a memorable Friday night after a 48-45 win over Garner when he said his team could take Monday off from practice.
The Knights had an open date Nov. 1.They complete the regular season this Friday, Nov. 8, at home against East Wake.
There were bigger cheers sent the Knights’ way after their win, which clinched the Greater Neuse River 4A Conference championship with two weeks still to go in the regular season.
If there was an ideal way to get back to work after registering the biggest win in a program’s history, an open date might be the way to go.
Senseney said the Knights would use the off week to heal bumps and bruises and to prepare for East Wake and for the playoffs.
“We’re going to get ready to play a really talented East Wake team,” Senseney said. “We’ve got a chance to be the No. 1 seed, so we’re going to go after that. And since we’re playing East Wake, I don’t think we’ll have any trouble being up for that one.”
The Knights are 8-1 and should clinch one of the top playoff seeds in the East if they can beat the Warriors.
First for the first time: Knightdale became the seventh school this season to be ranked No. 1 in The N&O high school football rankings following their victory over Garner and former No. 1 Wake Forest’s 21-19 loss to Leesville Road on Oct. 25.
It has been a wild but balanced year. Garner, Hillside, Wakefield, Leesville Road, Orange and Wake Forest all have preceded the Knights as the top-ranked team.
Instead of a small group of area teams separating themselves from their peers, the top tier of area high school football teams seem to be remaining so close that it is difficult to pick from among them.
The top nine teams probably could be ranked anywhere from No. 1 to No. 9.
At least one of the front runners should make a deep playoff run. The first few rounds of the 4AA playoffs could look a lot like the regular season as Triangle schools dominate the 4AA bracket.
Scotland is the only undefeated 4A team in the East and is the only Eastern team currently in The Associated Press’ 4A top 10. The Scots typically go into the 4A bracket rather than 4AA.
Player of the week: Knightdale quarterback Marquavious Johnson was named The N&O’s football player of the week after he rushed for 334 yards, including breaking loose for on a 56-yard touchdown run that cemented the Knights’ win over Garner.
East Wake quarterback Trent Evans also made the superlative list for his 213-yard passing and 99-yard rushing effort in the Warriors’ Oct. 25 loss to Clayton.