Northside tops Southside to stay hot

Published 11:44 pm Monday, September 5, 2016

CHOCOWINITY — Jackson Midgette ran for a pair of touchdowns to lead Northside to a 23-6 win at rival Southside on Monday. The Labor Day showdown, originally scheduled for late last week, saw the Panthers improve to 3-0 — topping their win total from last season. The Seahawks, meanwhile, drop to 2-1 on the season.

James Barrow put the visiting Panthers ahead early on. He scampered in from five yards out and then punched in the two-point conversion, putting his side ahead 8-0 less than three minutes in.

“We get the ball first and hold them for four plays,” Northside coach Keith Boyd said. “We get the ball and stick it in. It just gives us momentum.”

Southside coach Jeff Carrow added, “The biggest thing we need to do is finish drives. In the second half, we got the ball moving, got in the red zone when we needed to, but we just need to finish.”

The Panthers and Seahawks traded turnovers on downs before Northside found the end zone again early in the second quarter. A run by Barrow gave the Panthers a new set of downs inside Southside’s 5-yard line, setting up Midgette to punch in a short touchdown.

On the conversion attempt, Midgette kept and ran to his right. He made a beautiful pitch mid-tackle to Chris Slade, who passed the pylons to double the Panthers’ lead to 16-0.

Southside looked poised to respond on the ensuing series. Joe Myers carried the Seahawks across midfield before they fumbled the ball away. They were able to force a turnover on the following play, but ended up sputtering out.

“I think we had two penalties and a couple of fumbles, but our defense did a great job not allowing those fumbles to turn into points for Southside,” Boyd said. “We’ve got a resilient group. They’re a tight-knit group.”

The home side came out strong in the second half. Northside, which received the opening kickoff in the third quarter, drove deep into Southside territory, but was held out of the end zone.

Zikajah Crawford is taken down by Northside’s front line. The Seahawks were able to move the ball in the second half, but had trouble finding the end zone.

Brandon Sullivan helped drive the Seahawks down the field when he exploded on a 47-yard run. Ronald Dennis put them in the red zone and Sullivan capped off the drive with a short touchdown run.

“We just made corrections, offensively,” Carrow said. “Defensively, we’ve got to buckle down with some things. We saw what we needed to attack and moved the ball.”

It appeared they made the conversion, but the officials ruled them short and Northside owned a 16-6 lead with just under three minutes left in the third.

“I’m pretty sure he was in. I don’t think that was a good call there,” Carrow said.

Southside found itself pinned deep again in the fourth quarter. Barrow, finding another way to leave his mark, punted the ball to Southside’s 1-yard line. Barrow’s boot gave the Seahawks a tough hill to climb on multiple occasions and was a difference maker in the game.

Northside’s defense forced Southside to turn the ball over on downs late in the game, setting the table for Midgette’s second touchdown of the game. It gave the Panthers their 23-6 lead with about 46 seconds left to play.

Southside looks to bounce back on Friday at Riverside. Northside will be at home, eyeing its fourth win in as many games when it hosts South Creek.