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Redskins’ Higgs and Hudson too much to handle for Northside

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
YEATESVILLE — Northside drew first blood in its battle with Roanoke Monday night, but it turned out to be just a small wound as the Redskins ran away with a 44-14 win.
The Panthers, who were celebrating senior night, came out pumped in the first quarter and took an early 6-0 lead when senior linebacker Zak Manning forced a fumble, which was recovered by Michael Chase, who ran it 62 yards into the end zone.
Northside’s jubilation didn’t last as the Redskins would score the next 44 points in an impressive effort.
Panthers’ coach Keith Boyd said his team gave up too many big plays.
Roanoke quarterback Alonza Higgs diced the Panthers’ secondary as he tossed three TDs, while racking up 223 passing yard. Higgs’ backfield mate Savion Hudson keyed the ground game as he scored on touchdown runs of 7 and 20 yards.
The Redskins’ (7-3, 4-2) win leaves them in a first place tie with Williamston atop of the Atlantic Conference.
While the two teams will duke it out Friday for the conference crown, Roanoke coach Brian Paschal said he was happy his team focused on the task at hand Monday night.
The Redskins took a 16-6 lead in the first quarter thanks to the combo of Higgs and Hudson.
After the Panthers’ TD, the Redskins went on a 63-yard drive that ended with a Higgs pass to Aaron Baker in the end zone from nine yards out.
Roanoke forced a fumble later in the quarter and pieced together a 48-yard scoring drive that featured a nice mix of running and passing plays to end the quarter up 16-6.
Higgs was able to make plays on the run all night, and drew the praise of his coach after the game.
When Higgs wasn’t making the big plays, Hudson was. Whether it was catching the ball or taking the hand offs, Hudson delivered time after time and did nice job of getting yards after contact.
While Roanoke’s offense was clicking, the Panthers struggled to sustain drives. The Redskins stacked the line of scrimmage and were consistently in the Northside backfield.
The Redskins added a TD in the third quarter when Kenneth Hyman caught a 39-yard TD pass from Higgs to close out the quarter up 32-6. In the fourth quarter the Skins added two more scores as Tyreck Cooper caught a 25-yard touchdown pass, and Casey Manning returned a fumble 72 yards for the team’s 44th point.
Northside senior Colby Mason scored the last TD of the game when he took a handoff and ran down the right sideline 36 yards.
After the game Boyd said he was proud of his seniors.
The Panthers will close out their regular season Friday when they battle at Southside in the Anchor Bowl.
Roanoke Northside
9 First Downs 10
37-157 Rushes-Yards 30-158
223 Passing Yards 75
10-17 Pass-Comp-Int 3-9-1
2-31 Punting x
3-1 Fumbles-Lost 3-3
4-25 Penalties 4-30
Roanoke 16 8 8 12 — 44
Northside 6 0 0 8 — 14
Scoring Summary
N — Michael Chase 62 fumble recovery (two points failed), 9:03, 1st.
R — Aaron Baker 9 pass from Alonza Higgs (Savion Hudson two points), 5:09, 1st.
R — Hudson 7 run (Hudson two points), 1:47. 1st.
R — Kenneth Hyman 39 pass from Higgs (Hudson two points), 2:38, 2nd.
R — Hudson 20 run (Hyman two points), 5:04, 3rd.
R — Casey Manning 22 fumble recovery (two points failed), 5:37, 4th.
N — Colby Mason 36 run (Issiah McCuller two points). 3:16, 4th.