Panthers hold off Redskins|Defense steps up for Northside

Published 6:59 pm Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sports Writer

ROBERSONVILLE — A staunch defensive effort by Northside helped erase the memory of its seven fumbles as the Panthers locked down on Roanoke to pull out a 28-16 win over its Four Rivers Conference rival Thursday night.
Northside (2-2) stuffed the line of scrimmage and the Redskins’ running backs as it routinely packed the box with eight or more defenders, daring the Roanoke quarterback Reggie Parker to through the ball.
The Redskins could not sustain any momentum on offense as they mustered only two first downs the entire game, and rushed 24 times for 36 yards, while connecting on only six of 20 pass attempts.
“Our defense stepped up, we flew around and hit people,” Northside coach Keith Boyd said. “They made some big stops when we needed it.”
Roanoke coach Brian Paschal said his team needs to improve on offense.
“We have got to learn to control the football,” Paschal said. “We have to be able to get first downs, and until we can do that it will be really hard to make games close.”
The Redskins (0-4) got on the board first, as the Panthers fumble away the opening kickoff giving Roanoke the ball at the Panthers’ 6-yard line. Three plays later Parker ran in from four yards out to take a 6-0 lead.
Northside responded midway through the second quarter when it completed a 55-yard drive that ended with quarterback Isaiah McCullor hitting TaMichael Tonge for an eight-yard TD pass to tie the game at six.
The score would stay that way until the third quarter, when Roanoke’s Dwayne Morning returned the opening kickoff 83 yards down the right sideline to put his team up 12-6.
The Panthers didn’t wait long to answer back as Tonge ripped off a stunning 78-yard kick return of his own. After Northside missed the two-point conversion, the two teams were deadlocked at 12.
The Panthers had been able to run the ball fairly well all night, as they amassed 216 yards on 35 carries, but fumbles continually stunted their momentum.
Sophomore cornerback Petre Franks helped Northside get back on track when his second interception of the night helped set up DeMarques Martin’s 25-yard TD scamper at the 10:05 mark in the fourth quarter.
Martin scored his second touchdown of the night seven minutes later from 25 yards out again, and this one seemed to take the life out of the struggling Redskins as it pushed the Panthers’ lead to 26-12 with three minutes left in the game.
Roanoke made it interesting when Aaron Oden caught a Parker screen pass at the 50 and brought it all the way to the end zone to cut the lead to 26-18.
The Redskins failed to recover the ensuing on-side kick and the Panthers ran out the clock and rode home with a victory.
Northside Roanoke
11 First Downs 2
35-216 Rushes-Yards 24-36
40 Passing Yards 66
4-9 Pass-Comp-Int 6-20-2
3-36 Punting 7-39
6-3 Fumbles-Lost 2-0
7-35 Penalties 3-15
Northside 0 6 6 14 — 28
Roanoke 6 0 6 6 — 16
Scoring Summary
R — Reginald Parker 4 run (two points failed), 10:28. 1st.
N — TaMichael Tonge 8 pass from Isaiah McCullor (two points failed), 8:37 2nd.
R — Dwayne Morning 83 kick return (two points failed), 11:46, 3rd.
N — Tonge 78 kick return (two points failed) 10:45, 3rd.
N — DeMarques Martin 25 run (two points failed), 10:05, 4th.
N — Martin 25 run (Martin two points), 3:05, 4th.
R — Aaron Oden 50 pass from Parker (two points failed), 2:10, 4th.