Prep Football: Northgate earns elusive subregion winBy CHRIS GIROUARD
Special to The Newnan Times-Herald
FAYETTEVILLE — No doubt about it, the Northgate football team was in need of a confidence boost.
Coming off a bye week, the Vikings were a bit down after losing late leads in their previous two games.
What they got, was a game that was too close for too long, but this time it was the Vikings who put the game away in the end and left Fayetteville with a 27-10 victory and a lot more confidence in their ability to close out a ball game.
“This was especially big because of the way we lost our last two,” Northgate coach Tommy Walburn said. “And the off week was good for us. I’m proud of the kids. I was a little upset at halftime. I thought the lead should have been bigger and we could have knocked them out. To the credit of Starr’s Mill, those guys battled.”
The Vikings held a 14-3 lead at the intermission, a lead that certainly could have been larger.
The Vikings had the ball as time wound down in the half, and were driving in the final 1:41 of the second quarter after gaining 16 and 13 yards, respectively, and moving the ball 59 yards to the Panther 1.
However, that is where the drive ended. A timeout earlier in the second quarter cost the Vikings the ability to stop the clock and time ran out before they could get the play off.
The Panthers who put the first points on the board.
After going 3-and-out on their first series, the Panthers punted the ball away to Northgate.
However, a fumble on the kick gave the Panthers the ball back at the Northgate 45.
It was the first of 6 turnovers combined by the two teams. Panther kicker Daniel Rorick split the uprights with a 32-yard field goal to make it 3-0.
“When you start off like that with a fumble, it takes a few series to get you confidence back,” Walburn said.
Two drives later, that the Vikings clearly found confidence in their running game.
Northgate's Ben Washington carried the load for the Vikings. He was the first Viking player to find the end zone with a 1-yard burst with 2:06 left in the first quarter making it 7-3.
Washington had four out of five carries in the 5-play march from their own 42. The big run was a 40-yarder by Washington to the Panthers’ goal line.
On the night, Washington finished with 19 carries for an even 200 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
T.J. Womack also had a solid night running the ball. He twice while carrying the ball 19 times for 102 yards.
“I think Ben Washington played well,” Walburn said. “He got hurt with a broken arm and we had projected him to start. He’s just getting into shape. He had a good game. T.J. Womack had a good game and Torres Johnson played well at fullback.”
The Vikings made it 14-3 at the half after Womack scored the first of his touchdowns on an 11-yard run early in the second quarter.
Northgate opened the third quarter with an 11-play 66-yard drive that lasted 4:53. Washington scored his second touchdown, hurdling a would-be tackler for a 17-yard score making it 20-3.
The only Panther highlight came three plays later.
On 3rd and 7 from their own 23, Starr’s Mill quarterback Kyle Moseley found Timothy Roberts over the middle and deep for a 77-yard touchdown. However, 20-10 was as close as the Panthers would get.
Womack had a 19-yard run with 2:34 left in the game to seal the win.
“When you lose games like we lost our last two, you lose confidence,” Walburn said. “(When Starr’s Mill scored) you could feel here we go again. We got a big boost from that last touchdown.”
SCORING SUMMARY – Northgate 27, Starr's Mill 10
Northgate 7 7 6 7 – 27
Starr's Mill 3 0 7 0 – 10
SM – Daniel Rorick 32 yard field goal, 9:17
N – Ben Washington 1 yard run (Zack Braun kick), 2:06
N – T.J. Womack 11 yard run (Braun kick), 11.21
N – Washington 17 yard run (kick blocked), 7:07
SM – Kyle Moseley 77 yard pass to Timothy Roberts (Rorick kick), 5:22
N – T.J. Womack 19 yard run (Braun kick), 2:34