Prep Football: Northgate's ship runs aground in 23-0 loss
By CHRIS GIROUARD
Special to The Newnan Times-Herald
Fans, coaches and members of the Northgate football team were left shaking their heads last night.
Coming off an overwhelming victory last week, the Vikings were unable to get much of anything going on either side of the ball in a stunning 23-0 loss to Union Grove on Homecoming at Henry Seldon Field.
The Vikings fell behind 14-0 in the first half and were never able to mount a comeback of any kind. That’s because the Wolverines used a nearly-unstoppable running game complimented by some timely passes to control the clock and limit Northgate to 8 short possessions and one longer one.
The Vikings were unable to stop Union Grove senior running back Derrick Craine. Wearing No. 40 while bringing memories of former Tampa Bay Bucs fullback Mike Alstott, Craine steamrolled his way to 184 yards rushing on 27 carries.
He was complimented by sophomore Miles Vaughn who added 13 carries for 87 yards and a long touchdown run.
“You have to give Union Grove credit,” Walburn said. “They came in here and whooped up on us pretty good. They ran the ball up and down the field. “
(To view photos from this game, please visit http://photos.times-herald.com/mycapture and click on Sports / Football for the Photo Gallery.)
The Wolverines opened the game with a big pass play, catching the Viking defense off guard in what was a predecessor of things to come.
Union Grove sophomore quarterback Jonathan Slade hooked up with Caleb Ham for a big 32-yard gain. That set up 3 straight runs by Craine to the 5-yard line. From there, Slade found Austin Brown for the first of their two scoring connections on the night.
By the end of the first quarter, the score was 14-0, as Union Grove took advantage of a turnover by Northgate.
Facing 3rd and 5, Benton Washington lost the handle on the ball after a short gain among three Viking turnovers on the night. Union Grove recovered at their own 47. One play was all they needed to make Northgate pay. Vaughn broke through the defense for a 53-yard scoring run.
“It could have been 28-0 at halftime,” Walburn said. “If we made a play on offense we could have been in the ballgame.”
The closest the Vikings were able to come to getting on the scoreboard was in the second quarter. Facing a 4th-and-3 at the Wolverines’ 8-yard line, the Vikings went for it and came away with an incomplete pass.
“I didn’t think we were going to win with field goals,” Walburn said. “When we made plays we shot ourselves in the foot with turnovers and penalties.”
In the third quarter, Slade found Brown again, this time for a 14 yard touchdown strike to cap an 11-play, four-minute drive. Early in the fourth quarter, kicker Shawn Davis tacked on a 28-yard field goal for the 23-0 final.
“We have to go out and practice,” Walburn said. “We have five games left, and then hopefully playoffs. We need to practice and get better. Things like (Friday) happen. It’s not the first time I’ve seen a game like this. We are not good enough not to bring our A game every night.”
SCORING SUMMARY – Union Grove 23, Northgate 0
Union Grove 14 0 6 3 — 23
Northgate 0 0 0 0 — 0
UG — Austin Brown 5 pass from Jonathan Slade (Shawn Davis kick) 8:46
UG — Mille Vaughn 53 run (Davis kick) 2:42
UG —Brown 14 pass from Slade (kick failed) 7:50
UG —Davis 28-yard field goal 9:53