Southside takes Anchor Bowl with thrilling finish

Published 3:19 am Wednesday, October 31, 2018

PINETOWN — Those in attendance at Northside High School on Tuesday night were treated to a thrilling finish that saw two lead changes in the final seven minutes, as Southside scored to take the lead with under four minutes remaining and stopped the Panthers just 18 yards from the Seahawks’ end zone with seconds left in the game to barely hold onto a 23-16 victory in the 2018 Anchor Bowl.

“Really proud of the team, of being able to answer calls when needed,” Southside head coach Jeff Carrow said. “Defense held us in the ball game first half, and then came up with the big stop at the end. Hats off to coach Q (defensive coordinator Andrea Quinerly) and the defense, and all the rest of the coaches for getting the people in place where they need to be. Just an outstanding job.”

Northside (3-7, 0-5 1A Coastal Plains Conference) scored the first points of the fourth quarter, culminating a 50-yard drive that took up 7:04 of game clock with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Zachariah Green to Kenneth Winfield. That made the score 16-15, in favor of the Panthers, with 6:45 left in the game.

Southside (4-5, 2-3 1A CPC) responded with a game-winning, 55-yard drive. But it almost looked like the Seahawks wouldn’t pull it off, due to penalties. Two holding calls in the span of four plays gave Southside a second and 20 from its own 45. Senior quarterback Will Warren rose to the occasion, busting out with a long run all the way to the Northside 24, causing the Seahawk sideline to erupt. Jaheem Carter took the next snap to the house, scoring his third touchdown of the night. Hayden Mayo, who repeatedly gouged Northside up the middle for 82 yards on nine carries, ran in the two-point conversion to give the Seahawks a 23-16 lead with 3:52 left on the clock.

Carrow said the big performance from the sophomore Carter, who also ran for 83 yards to go with his three scores, was something the Southside coaching staff saw coming.

“We’ve been waiting for Jaheem to break out,” Carrow said. “He’s getting in the system, he’s taking a little bit slower developing, but he’s got into it in the past three weeks.”

After Southside retook the lead late in the game, Northside received the ball at its own 25, but with no timeouts. The Panthers got moving immediately, with Greene connecting with Winnfield again for 28 of Winnfield’s 69 receiving yards on the night. Northside looked like stalling out, but on fourth down Green found Winnfield yet again for a 23-yard gain that put the Panthers at the Southside 23.

A screen pass to Winnfield on third down put the Panthers at the 18, but it still brought up fourth down and the clock was winding down to less than 30 seconds. With no timeouts, Northside attempted a half-back pass from Tyler Modlin to Green, but the pass fell incomplete, handing the ball back to the Seahawks with 16 seconds to play.

“Offensively, defensively and special teams, we fought hard all night long,” Northside head coach Keith Boyd said. “We just kind of came up there short at the end. I was out of timeouts and we were trying to do some things to try to get it in the end zone with less than a minute there. It just didn’t work out for us. Hats off to Southside. It was a great high school football game.”

While the second half was back and forth, the first half was dominated by defense and filled with turnovers from both teams. A Carter 1-yard touchdown run with 3:10 left in the first was the only score in the opening half.

Boosted by a fumble recovery by Micah Spencer at the Seahawk 17, the Panthers finally got on the scoreboard with 4:15 left in the third. James Gorham scored on a 2-yard run and Green added a two-point conversion to give Northside an 8-7 lead. Southside responded immediately, needing just four plays to drive 64 yards, as Carter scored from eight yards out and Mayo ran in a two-point conversion to establish a 16-15 lead for the Seahawks with 1:49 left in the third.

Northside finishes its season this Friday, when it hosts Jones Senior (0-7, 0-3 1A CPC). Southside next takes on South Creek (4-4, 1-3 1A CPC), who it hosts this Friday as well.