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Brawl in the stands brings an early end to East Forsyth-Mount Tabor showdown

Top-ranked Eagles declared the victor after building a 31-13 lead

WINSTON-SALEM, NORTH CAROLINA-  A battle of undefeated North Carolina football rivals was overshadowed by a brawl in the parking lot outside Mount Tabor’s Bob Sapp Field, Thursday night, as a contest between top-ranked East Forsyth and host Mount Tabor was halted with 3 minutes, 43 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter with East Forsyth ahead, 31-13.

Players and fans on both sides of the field began to gravitate towards the scoreboard end of the stadium when they became aware of of the commotion. Fortunately, Forsyth County Sherrif’s Deputies, working security at the game, responded promptly to the fight and used pepper spray to break up the disturbance.

Out of an abundance of caution, the game was cancelled at that point and East Forsyth was declared the winner.

In this highly anticipated match-up between two top 10 teams, the Eagles flexed their muscles in the third quarter to prove that they were the best team in North Carolina. They extended a 17-7 halftime lead with a 2-yard touchdown run by quarterback Jaylen Raynor and a 49-yard touchdown run by running back Trenton Dozier to put the game away.

East Forsyth kicked a field goal for the only points of the first quarter, but the Eagles would soon get into their rhythm.

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A long interception return by cornerback Nigel Gay set the Eagles up with good field position, early in the second quarter. The turnover started a short drive which was capped by a 2-yard touchdown run by Raynor, pushing the East Forsyth lead to 10-0 with 10:56 left in the first half.

Preventing an even bigger hole for the host Spartans, Mount Tabor quarterback Semaj Reaves-Smith connected with wide receiver Shamarius Peterkin on a 47-yard throw to set up a first and goal. The Spartans would then punch it into the end zone with a 2-yard touchdown run by Kevin Frazier, cutting the Eagles lead to 10-7.

East Forsyth responded midway through the second quarter on a quick drive that resulted in a 19-yard touchdown run by tight end Jayvonte Conner to extend the Eagles lead to 17-7 at the half.

Both teams traded empty drives for most of the third quarter, but the Eagles delivered the knockout punches by Raynor and Dozier. The Spartan offense failed to respond in the third quarter, but they did get on the scoreboard one more time when Peterkin hauled in a 6-yard TD pass from Jadon Blair, to set what proved to be the final score when game was halted due to the disturbance.

Next week, the Eagles look to stay unbeaten as they play the Parkland Mustangs at home next Friday. The Spartans look to bounce back on the road against the Davie County War Eagles.