The Panthers dominate Columbia despite slow start

Published 12:18 am Saturday, September 1, 2018

PINETOWN — Overcoming a slow start, Northside went on to dominate Columbia in a 56-18 win that was called with 11 minutes still on the clock due to lightning.

Despite allowing its opponent to score for the first time this year, Northside (3-0) can be happy with the fact it finally produced explosive plays after lacking big plays on offense so far this year.

Tyshawn Roberson came up with one of the first electric plays, showcasing his speed as he flew down the left sideline untouched for a 29-yard touchdown run, evening the score at 12-12. Roberson also scored on a 22-yard run, while Fred Taylor rumbled his way up the middle for a 53-yard touchdown in the first half too.

Tyler Modlin showcased his playmaking ability as well, zigzagging his way through the Columbia (0-3) defense and into the end zone for a 24-yard touchdown. Omari Crandell added a 33-yard scoring run at the beginning of the fourth quarter to cap the game’s scoring.

Both Roberson and Johnathan Clark proved to be difficult to contain for the Wildcats all night with their speed and athleticism.

“They’re explosive players. They make explosive plays and we’ve been missing those,” Northside head coach Keith Boyd said. “Those two guys allow us to stretch the width of the field. We don’t have to stay up inside so tight, and (they) can do some things out on the edges that some other guys just don’t have the God-given ability to do. The good lord just blessed those guys with some special talents.”

Despite winning by 38 points, the Panthers actually found themselves trailing by 12 points in the first quarter. Five Northside players were suspended for the first quarter due to disciplinary reasons, and Columbia took advantage. The Wildcats’ first score came when a Columbia defender ripped the ball out of Chandler Nimons’ hands as the Northside back was held up by other Columbia defenders, and the fumble was returned 85 yards for a touchdown.

The Panthers fumbled the ball away on the ensuing possession, gifting the ball back to Columbia. Wildcat quarterback Nasseim Basnight made Northside pay, first by running 29 yards to reach the Northside five-yard line. Basnight followed that play by scrambling around the pocket to buy time, before finding a wide-open receiver in the end zone for a 12-0 lead.

But Northside’s five returning players entered the game in the second quarter with the score 12-6, and the Panthers outscored Columbia 50- 6 the rest of the way, including 30 points in the third quarter.

“We had some issues we had to handle internally and those things have been handled,” Boyd said. “We handled those things in the first quarter and then we got things back straight, especially after halftime and kind of started being the team that we’ve been the last two games. If you don’t take care of some things, they can implode on you. So we did what we felt we had to do and moved on from there.”

The Panthers head to Washington to take on the Pam Pack (1-2) next Friday in hopes of winning their fourth-straight game to open the season.