Northgate 33, North Clayton 7
Vikings celebrate first win
Winning a football game is always a great accomplishment, especially a team's first of the season. On Friday, after two long, hard weeks of back-to-back losses, a 33-7 victory over North Clayton at Henry Seldon Field provided a chance to celebrate.
'Any time you win, as I was telling the kids, you celebrate it,' Northgate head coach Tommy Walburn said after much the same message to his players in his postgame speech. 'They can celebrate it until Monday; (Coaches) will celebrate it until Sunday.
The victory helped the young Vikings improve to 1-2 on the season. It also proved that when called upon, their running attack can be the strength that leads the ball club.
'We knew going in and we told the kids the coach is trying to clean things up over there,' Walburn said. 'They have some good kids, but they don't have a lot of kids. We felt that as the game wore on we could establish the running game.'
Benton Washington led the Vikings with 156 yards rushing on 16 carries to go with two long touchdown runs. T.J. Womack also went over the 100-yard mark with a pair of scores, finishing with 124 yards on 16 attempts of his own. Between the duo, junior Kevin Teasley and freshman Ton Evans, Northgate ran the ball at will as it hoped out of the wing-T after managing just seven points in its first two games.
'They ran the ball really well, and Kevin Teasley ran it,' Walburn said. 'Then we put Ton Evans in, a freshman, at the end of the game and he ran us down the field.'
The Vikings opened the game on defense and, after giving up 15-yard pass completion on the first play from scrimmage, clamped down allowing just a 3-yard run, a sack and an incomplete pass to get the ball back.
Starting the ensuing drive on their own 40, the Vikings mounted an 11-play drive that chewed more than five minutes off the clock. The drive was keyed by several big, bruising bursts up the middle by Washington and runs of 15-and 16 yards by Teasley. On fourth and goal from the 1, Womack took the handoff up the middle, dropped the ball prior to crossing the goal line, but managed to fall on it in the end zone for the score. The Vikings led 7-0, and remained that way until early in the second quarter when they would strike again on just their second drive of the game.
Northgate opened up at its own 19-yard line. Solid runs by Womack and Teasley gave the Vikings a first down at the Eagles' 48. At that point, Washington broke through the middle of the North Clayton line and rumbled 48 yards for the score. A missed PAT made it 13-0.
The half ended at 13-7. The Eagles seemed to have a latesecond quarter drive stopped when faced with a fourth and 12 at the 50.
Lining up to kick, punter/ quarterback Jacorey Smith found Kindle Vildor over the middle for a 17-yard gain on a fake to revive the drive. Johntavious Robinson capped off the drive with a one-yard scoring run.
'I was kind of disappointed at halftime,' Walburn said. 'I felt like we should have probably had a 28-0 lead at halftime. We are a very inexperienced football team, but three games in that's not an excuse. We let them fake the punt, but that was the coaches' fault. We didn't like the way they were lined up for the punt.'
The second half went much more according to the Vikings' plans. They took the opening drive and marched down field in 10 plays, nine of which were running plays. Torres Johnson finished this one off with a scoring run of four yards.
The Vikings reached the end zone on three of its four drives in the second half. Washington had a 33-yard run, and Womack an 8-yarder to round out the scoring. Their fourth drive ended at the Eagles' 10 when they took a knee with 10 seconds to play on fourth down.
The Vikings play host to Ola next week in the Northgate homecoming game.
'We just have to keep getting better,' Walburn said. 'All our goals are still ahead of us. We feel like we are better now than after our first game and we feel we need to get better next week against Ola.'
Vikings 33, Eagles 7
North Clayton 0 7 0 0 -7 Northgate 7 6 13 7- 33 First Quarter NG - T.J. Womack 1 run(James Skalski kick) 4:26 Second Quarter NG - Benton Washington 48 run (Kick failed) 11:37 NC - Johntavious Robinson 1 run (Yaya Diaby kick) 1:23 Third Quarter NG - Torres Johnson 4 run (pass failed) 7:50 NG - Washington 33 run(Skalski kick) 2:46 Fourth Quarter NG Womack 8 run (Skalski kick) 7:26