RESULTS: PLAYOFFS THIRD ROUND
NORTHSIDE 23, TUCKER 20
The Eagles and Tigers renewed their playoff rivalry in style. For the third time in three tries, the game featured lead changes, rallies, momentum-shifting turnovers and sensational individual efforts. Northside won when quarterback Glenn Smith connected on a fourth-down, 11-yard touchdown pass to Keshun Hill with 24 seconds left in the game.
There was good and bad for both teams. Afterward, Northside head coach Kevin Kinsler quoted Scripture and gave thanks for all of it.
We told the kids all week that this game was going to come down to the final play, an emotional Kinsler said. And it did.
Tucker quarterback Juwaan Williams rushed for three touchdowns. The first two staked the Tigers to a 13-3 lead through three quarters. That seemed likely to hold up given Tuckers stingy defense led by linebacker Elijah Sullivan, who produced more than a dozen tackles, including three sacks.
But Northside senior Curtis Martin gave his side life with a 58-yard scoring burst early in the fourth quarter. Martin scored again less than a minute later after teammate Trey Payne stripped the ball from a Tucker ballcarrier. It was the Tigers fourth lost fumble or muff on the night. The Eagles failed to convert the point after attempt, however.
Trailing 16-13, Tucker remained undaunted. Indeed, the Tigers produced their best drive of the night, going 75 yards in about six minutes before Williams scored again on an 11-yard keeper. There was just 1:22 left on the game clock.
Hill returned the ensuing kickoff to midfield. A pass interference penalty and a Smith to Robert Davis pass completion quickly moved the Eagles to the Tucker 13. A pair of runs yielded little and a third-down pass into the end zone was nearly intercepted. On fourth-and-eight, Smith hit Hill over the middle three yards deep in the end zone.
NORTH HALL 52, PEACH COUNTY 10
Keyshawn Lowe ran 39 yards for a touchdown on Peach Countys opening possession, but things went quickly downhill from there. North Hall had two ball carriers rush for more than 150 yards. North Hall topped 400 yards rushing as a team. The 52-point total is the most ever allowed by a Peach County team.
Peach County produced more than 350 yards of total offense, but trailing 21-7 after the first quarter, the team was forced to play catch-up all night. Peach County threw more than it ran. Quarterback Greg Williams had 32 pass attempts, completing 13 for 228 yards. Receiver Demarcus Robinson caught six balls for 147 yards.
GHSA CLASS AAAAA SEMIFINAL PREVIEW
NORTHSIDE (13-0) at WARE COUNTY (12-1), 7:30 p.m. Friday
Northside lost a Sunday morning coin toss and will play at The Swamp, the home of the Region 3-AAAAA champions.
This is the second meeting all-time between the two programs.
Northside defeated Ware County 20-14 in the 2007 Class AAAA state championship game.
This year, the teams share two common opponents, Effingham County and Lakeside-Evans.
The Eagles and Gators combined to go 4-0 in those games in convincing fashion.
Ware Countys quarterfinal win over Stephenson was its fifth shutout of the season. Stephenson had been averaging 33 points per game.
Northside also has five shutouts, but the Eagles are yielding an average of 13.3 points per game in the playoffs. Some of those points came against Northside reserves.