High School Sports

Northside fights hard to knock off Westside

Northside's Daniel Neal (8) breaks free from Westside's Tavores Pearson, Jr (26) Friday night.
Northside's Daniel Neal (8) breaks free from Westside's Tavores Pearson, Jr (26) Friday night. photo@macon.com

On a night when every yard seemed to come at a premium, Northside converted more of its chances and put together drives when it needed to for a 17-3 victory over Westside on Friday at McConnell-Talbert Stadium.

The Eagles (2-1) took the lead on their opening drive of the game after a 7-yard Seminoles punt set up the Northside deep in Westside territory. Quarterback Jadin Daniels found Kobie Phillips for a 14-yard connection inside the 1, before finishing the drive himself on the next play.

Westside (1-2) managed just a single first down until punter Deangelo Haynes scrambled 12 yards on a muffed snap with less than four minutes to play in the half. The drive stalled three plays later and set up a well-executed two-minute offense by the Eagles.

Northside moved it 63 yards on 10 plays before place-kicker Cory Munson converted from 24 yards out with just seconds remaining in the half for a 10-0 advantage.

After the Seminoles grabbed some momentum in the third quarter with a 31-yard field goal, Northside imposed its will to close out the game on the ensuing possession. Running back Daniel Neal did it all himself, carrying nine times for 66 yards before scoring from 3 yards out with 14 seconds to play in the quarter.

Three who mattered

Neal: Northside’s most effective offensive threat, the junior tailback carried 25 times for 129 yards and a touchdown.

Munson: In a field position contest, Munson proved to be Northside’s most valuable weapon in the first half. He repeatedly pinned the Westside offense deep in its own end on long punts, and his field goal in the second quarter gave Northside a two-score cushion.

Anthony Jordan: Westside’s senior linebacker made tackle after tackle and had several big shots on Eagles ballcarriers.

Turning point

Neal’s running on Northside’s final possession of the third quarter turned the tide in the Eagles’ favor for good. Neal pounded the middle of a Westside defense that showed ever dwindling resistance as the drive progressed.

They said it

Northside head coach Kevin Kinsler his team’s stifling defensive effort: “Defensively I thought we played well, and we were able to do well against the run. Pass-wise I thought we were able to limit the shots we took.”

Kinsler on the progression of his offense: “With our offense we’re just going to have to keep growing week by week. We didn’t do some things very well, but then we come right back and had three really good drives (Friday) when we needed it. All three of those drives were important, and that’s two games in a row where we’ve come out on an opening drive and put points on the board. We’ve just got to have enough confidence to keep doing it.”

What’s next?

Westside hosts B.E.S.T. Academy on Sept. 15, while while Northside travels to Lanier on Friday.

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