Historic moments from the Warner Robins-Northside series

jheeter@macon.comSeptember 30, 2011 

The historic moments from this rivalry are too numerous to list. But The Telegraph takes a look at a timeline of memorable moments and finishes in the series.

1966: Warner Robins 18, Northside 13

In the first truly competitive game in the series, Northside’s Clay Ferguson scored on a 7-yard touchdown run with 2:35 to play to give the Eagles the win. This was just the third game in the series. The schools split the first four games before Warner Robins went through a dominant run in the series from 1968 until 1983.

1972: Warner Robins 14, Northside 13

Northside jumped out to a 13-0 lead and appeared to be on the verge of its first win at over the Demons at then-International Stadium. With less than five minutes to play in the game, however, Demons quarterback Joe Sumrall connected with Doug Johnson for a 10-yard touchdown. Sumrall later rushed for a 4-yard touchdown with 34 seconds to play and then made the winning extra point in the win.

1973: Warner Robins 17, Northside 14

A year after marching out to a lead, Northside again held a lead. The Demons, however, rebounded from a 14-0 deficit and eventually won the game on a 32-yard field goal by Alvin Hutchinson with 11 seconds to play.

1975: Northside 20, Warner Robins 18

A year before winning the mythical national championship, the top-ranked Demons couldn’t hold a lead against the Eagles. The Demons pulled in front with 1:53 to play on a touchdown pass from Keith Soles to Eddie Richardson. Northside answered with a touchdown pass from David Norman to Tony Davezan with 28 seconds for the game-winner. Head coach Conrad Nix said at the time the win, which snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Demons, was the biggest in program history.

1978: Northside 21, Warner Robins 20

The Demons trailed the Eagles in the closing moments, but a 25-yard touchdown pass from Greg Harper to Johnny Idol cut the lead to a point. Warner Robins head coach Robert Davis elected to go for a two-point conversion, which the Northside defense snuffed out. Davis said after the game, “I let my heart make the decision over my mind on the two-point play. That was the stupidest thing I’ve ever done in my life, but I’d do it again under the same circumstances.”

1981: Warner Robins 21, Northside 14

With a national ranking on the line, Hank Williams fueled the Demons’ comeback with 232 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries. The performance broke James Brooks’ single-game series rushing record. Williams’ final touchdown -- a 70-yard jaunt -- came with 7:43 to play. Davis said after the game, “This is what high school football is all about.”

1984: Northside 17, Warner Robins 14

Northside snapped a six-year losing streak with a comeback victory on the arm of quarterback Charles Toliver. The Eagles scored the game-winner on a flea-flicker pass to Curtis Clark. Toliver went 8-of-11 for 175 yards and two touchdowns in the game. The third-ranked Demons, who led 14-3 at the half, lost for just the fifth time in the 21-game history of the series.

1985: Warner Robins 14, Northside 7

The Demons came from behind to tie the game on a touchdown run by Lane Maddox with 47 seconds. Maddox completed a pass on fourth-and-10 earlier on the drive, and the Demons controlled overtime. Lester Efford scored the game-winner in overtime with a 17-yard touchdown with 1:01 left in the second overtime. Northside went for a gadget play for the second straight year, but a hook-and-lateral came up short, and Ben Smith recovered the fumble.

1988: Warner Robins 7, Northside 3

John Perkins scored on a 25-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and the Demons made the points hold up to advance to the state quarterfinals. Two weeks earlier, Warner Robins destroyed Northside 41-12, but the Eagles nearly pulled the upset the day after Thanksgiving. Northside had a chance to win late, but an Eagles pass was deflected by Greg Tremble in the end zone with 44 seconds left. Warner Robins eventually won its third state championship.

1989: Northside 7, Warner Robins 6

Warner Robins entered the game as USA Today’s top-ranked team in the nation. It left as the second-best team in Warner Robins. The Eagles scored early in the first quarter on a touchdown catch by little used Jo Shuttlesworth. Those points ended up being enough. Eric McDowell connected with Chad Bowen from 22 yards out with a minute to play, but Jeff Meade missed the extra point to end the Demons’ quest for another national championship. Defensive lineman Chad Averett said after the win, “I can tell my grandchildren someday far in the future that we beat the No. 1 team in the nation.”

1992: Warner Robins 14, Northside 10

With Davis sidelined following heart surgery, the Demons came up with a goal-line stand in the final seconds to preserve an undefeated regular season. Northside moved inside the Demons’ 10-yard line with less than a minute to play. The Demons eventually stuffed Jonathan Sanks at the line of scrimmage with nine seconds left. The win gave the Demons a 24th straight region win after the loss to the Eagles in 1989.

1994: Warner Robins 14, Northside 13

The Demons extended their series winning streak to six games thanks to a halfback pass from Jamaal Garman to Trammel Pryor in the fourth quarter. The 20-yard touchdown pass was a throwback to a play from Davis’ playbook as the junior varsity coach at Warner Robins in 1970. Pryor finished with seven catches for 157 yards and two touchdowns. The Demons made the extra point and earned the one-point win because Matt Fendley blocked a Northside extra point in the second quarter.

1997: Warner Robins 14, Northside 12

Josh Grube tossed two touchdown passes to Tim Beers to clinch the Demons’ 10th straight region championship and 21st overall. Grube’s game-winning touchdown came early in the fourth quarter on a third-and-23 play. One of the key figures in the rivalry -- Davis -- left to take over at Westside prior to the season.

2000: Warner Robins 23, Northside 20

Despite getting 143 yards and two touchdowns out of Willie Reid, Warner Robins’ eventual victory was cemented on a 39-yard field goal by straight-line kicker and nose guard John Smit. Chansi Stuckey brought the Eagles back with a late touchdown, but Smit’s points held up. Smit said after the game, “If I missed, I might’ve just had to move out of Warner Robins.”

2004: Warner Robins 10, Northside 3

In their most recent state championship season, the Demons needed Steven Clark to recover a muffed punt late in the game. Quarterback Mark Wright scored the game-winning touchdown with 2:09 to play.

2005: Northside 20, Warner Robins 14

In just the third overtime game in the series -- and the first under the GHSA’s current overtime rules -- Northside survived a battle between two of the top three ranked teams in the state. Former Warner Robins receiver Nick Bass caught the go-ahead touchdown for Northside in overtime, and all-state defensive lineman Sam Robinson came up with a sack to end the game.

2009: Warner Robins 21, Northside 20

In perhaps the most improbable comeback in series history, the Demons rebounded from a 20-0 fourth-quarter deficit. Everything that could go wrong for the Eagles did, and Warner Robins continued to capitalize on the mistakes. First-year starting quarterback Maurice Dudley added his name to the history of the series when he found running back Jonathan Jackson on fourth-and-7 for a 47-yard touchdown with two minutes to play capping the 21-point comeback.

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