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Posted: Friday, November 8th 2013 at 10:52pm

Raiders win thriller over South Forsyth, advance to first playoffs since '10

By staff reports
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COAL MOUNTAIN – North Forsyth is headed back to the playoffs for the first time since 2010 after holding off rival South Forsyth 17-12 in an exciting finish at home.

The Raiders (7-3, 4-3 Region 6-AAAAAA) needed a win by five points or more or a Lambert victory over West Forsyth to get into the playoffs. They got both.

But it did not come easy. The Raiders led just 3-0 at halftime.

South Forsyth (7-3, 4-3) pulled within 10-5 on a field goal and a safety. North Forsyth would push its lead to 17-5 on a touchdown early in the fourth quarter but the Eagles would close the gap to 17-12 midway through the fourth.

North Forsyth had a chance to put the game away but was forced to punt with 1:46 left giving the Eagles one last chance.

South Forsyth would convert a 4th-and-10 from its own 44 with a 27-yard pass and would move to the Raiders 13 with 35 seconds left. After a penalty and a sack pushed the Eagles back, they would connect on a pass down to the North Forsyth 8 but time would run out before they could get another play off.

North Forsyth coach Jason Galt, in his first season at the helm of the Raiders, said he never doubted they could reach the postseason.

“With our style of offense, I felt we had a very good chance,” Galt said. “Not very many see our kind of offense and its tough to defend. I'm an optimist and I really felt at the beginning of the year we had chance to make it (to the playoffs).”

The Raiders finished with 359 total yards, led by Cody Gottberg, who finished with 300 yards and two touchdowns on 16-of-24 passing, and Colton Miller, who had 112 yards receiving and two touchdowns. Luke Slaton had 139 yards receiving for North Forsyth.

The Raiders will get a supreme test next in the first round taking on Class AAAAAA sixth-ranked and unbeaten Archer on the road.

Galt said they will be ready.

“(Archer) is a very good team,” he said. “It will be a huge challenge. But I still feel like we can get a lot better. We haven't really played great game this year so maybe next week will be the week.

“Every week (in the playoffs) there's an upset. That's why you play the games. Anything is possible. We'll b ready and will give it everything we've got.”

The Raiders have not won a playoff game since beating Washington (Atlanta) in the first round in 2005.
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