Georgia has some of the top high school rivalry football games in the nation. In south Georgia, you find the annual Valdosta-Lowndes matchup; in the Atlanta area Brookwood-Parkview always gets plenty of hype, and the best of them all takes place Friday in Warner Robins at McConnell-Talbert Stadium when Northside and Warner Robins square off. Their annual meeting comes up Friday.
This marks the 58th time the rivals will play with the Demons holding a 34-23 edge in the series. Warner Robins dominated the Eagles in the early days, winning 23 of the first 32 games. Since 1990, Northside has a slight edge, holding a 14-11 advantage, but since 2000, the Eagles have won 11 of 15. It is not unusual for the games to attract more than 10,000 fans to McConnell-Talbert Stadium, which has a listed permanent seating at 9,000. The 1975 game drew more than 18,000 fans, which is believed to be the largest attended high school game in Middle Georgia football history as the eighth-ranked Eagles upset No. 1 Warner Robins 20-18.
I don’t think Warner Robins and Northside people like each other very much during the football season, much like Auburn and Alabama in the college ranks. Interestingly, if you check the uniforms of the two schools, Warner Robins reminds you of Alabama’s crimson and white, even though the Demons’ official colors are cardinal red and white, while Northside takes on the orange, blue and white colors worn by Auburn.
The International City is a high school hotbed with both Warner Robins and Northside having won a boatload of hardware for their trophy cases. The Demons have captured 24 region titles, four state championships and two mythical national crowns while Northside has won 13 region crowns, as well as three state titles.
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Warner Robins won state and national crowns in both 1976 and 1981, as well as state titles in 1988 and 2004. The Eagles’ championships came in 2007 and 2008 -- when they were in the midst of a 35-game winning streak -- and last season. For the past 17 years, Northside has had 10-win seasons.
Current head coaches Bryan Way at Warner Robins and Kevin Kinsler at Northside have state titles on their resumes, Way won in 2004 and Kinsler in 2014, but the two men responsible for putting the schools on the football map are Robert Davis and Conrad Nix. Both coached at their respective schools for 24 seasons, however not all at the same time. Davis was the head coach at Warner Robins from 1973 until 1996 while Nix had two stops at Northside. He coached the Eagles from 1972 until 1980 and returned in 1994 after coaching in Alabama and stayed until he retired in 2009. Davis coached 294 games with the Demons compiling a 253-41-1 record while Nix coached 293 at Northside and had a 241-52 record. In head-to-head competition in the rivalry, Davis coached teams defeated Nix coached teams in eight of the 11 games. Overall, Davis had a 21-7 record against Northside while Nix was 12-12 against Warner Robins.
Both Davis and Nix are members of the coaches 300-win club. Davis has an overall record of 352-74-1, which includes 12 seasons at Westside in Macon and Nix has a 300-105 mark. Conrad also coached at Irwin County and Fayette County in Georgia and at three schools in Alabama.
The Eagles have had 94 first-team all-state performers, compared to 77 for the Demons. Both schools have been outstanding feeder schools for college football programs. The Demons have had 192 of their players receive scholarships, and Northside has had more than 175. You can take it a step further and check out pro rosters where 10 former Demons and four former Eagles have played in at least one NFL game.
If you know a rivalry better football than Warner Robins-Northside, let me know about it.
Contact Bobby Pope at firstname.lastname@example.org