For a second consecutive year, Evans holds bragging rights over rival Greenbrier.
But unlike recent years, the win won't count towards the Knights' region record. And coach Marty Jackson's team faces a big test Friday against Lakeside, which many expect to be much improved since last year.
The Knights got a big performance from running back Jonathan Finch, who scored the lone touchdown in Evans' 7-0 win Friday.
The junior finished with 229 yards on 18 carries. He scored on a 40-yard run down the right sideline in the third quarter.
For the most part, he was the only offensive highlight.
"We weren't on all cylinders," Jackson said. "But we didn't turn the ball over. That was the difference."
The Knights did indeed avoid giving the Wolfpack any freebies.
Quarterback Troy Griffith, starting his first varsity game, completed 5 of 8 passes for 38 yards -- maybe not numbers to write home about, but he earned praise for protecting the football.
And the Knights' defense forced two turnovers that likely preserved the win.
Greenbrier had a first-and-goal on the Knights' 5 on its opening drive. But a holding penalty pushed the Wolfpack back, and quarterback Blake Ross's third-down pass was intercepted by Brandon McCladdie on the 1.
In the second quarter, the Wolfpack again moved inside on the Knights' 10. On first and goal, Greenbrier's T.D. Davis had the ball jarred loose, and the Knights recovered on their own 2.
"We should have beat them," Wolfpack running back Kendrick Wilson said. "We just had a couple mental errors."
The credit could go to the Knights' defense, which lost several key starters from last year's 9-3 team, but had plenty of upperclassmen ready to step in.
Defensive end Nigel Charles set the tone early with a big hit on Wilson in the backfield. Greenbrier's spread scheme included a lot of scrambling by Ross, but the Knights were able to keep him in check.
"They know how to keep the QBs contained," Ross said. "And they hit hard."
Ross found a rhythm late with receiver Ben Turner and gave the Wolfpack a chance to tie it.
On Greenbrier's final drive, Ross hit Turner on consecutive passes of 14 and 38 yards to get to the Knights' 13. But Evans defensive lineman James Glassock sacked Ross for a 4-yard loss, and Ross' fourth-down pass went in and out of the hands of receiver Bryan Andrews with less than a minute remaining.
But the Wolfpack came away encouraged. A year after giving up 28 points to their rivals, they were able to hold the Knights in check most of the night.
First-year head coach Brian Smith has his team believing it's headed in the right direction.
"We put in the hard work since spring," Ross said. "I don't think we could have done anything more."
Jackson admitted his team would likely need a better performance Friday to beat Lakeside, which is expected to compete for the Region 3-AAAA title.
The Panthers will be led by senior quarterback Chad Chandler and linebacker Kyle Tudor, who committed to East Carolina during the summer.
Without having watched the film, Jackson knew he'd see some trouble spots.
"We got plenty we can work on," he said.
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