Down 17-7 at halftime at Southern Lee, South Johnston held the Cavaliers scoreless in the second half and rallied for a 23-17 nonconference win on Friday night.
The Trojans (2-1) completed the comeback with a 20-yard touchdown pass play from junior Riley Adams to classmate Connor Lee with 41 seconds to go and added a 2-point conversion for the final margin.
“We stopped turning the ball over in the second half,” said second-year South coach Lee Webb. “We had three turnovers in the first half and that hurt us.
“Our defense played a great game, our special teams played great and our offense got going.”
South tied the score at 7 with 1:04 left in the first quarter on a 7-yard touchdown reception by Lee. The hosts tallied on a reverse that covered 67 yardsv to lead, 14-7.
Southern Lee (0-3) got a 43-yard field goal from sophomore Bryan McCollum to lead 17-7. Lucas Layman blocked a field goal try by the Cavaliers at the close of the half.
South’s first points of the second half came on a snap miscue by the hosts that resulted in a safety.
A 14-yard scoring run by Aiden Williams got the Trojans within 17-15 early in the fourth quarter, but the 2-point conversion failed.
Williams finished with 32 carries for 152 yards. He had five catches for 25 yards.
Lee had four catches for 90 yards and Kalib Brown made five receptions for 43 yards.
South has an open date before starting Quad-County 3-A Conference play at home against Smithfield-Selma on September 16.
“We’ve just got to keep getting better at what we do,” Lee said. “The defense needs to force turnovers and the offense needs to protect the ball.”