Defense provides offense in Northside win over Valdosta

Cory Munson got his. Lately, he always does.

This time, however, it was Northside’s defense that made the game-grinding-winning difference in the Eagles’ 16-7 win over Valdosta.

To begin with – or rather “end” with – was Kameron Tate’s interception in the final seconds.

Prior to that, and even more threat ending, was Tubby McCall’s interception. That came with the Wildcats just down by two points – 9-7 – and driving with less than two minutes to play. They started on their own 12, got it to the 40 on a pass play and then to the 31 on another. That’s when McCall, on a tipped ball, grabbed it and ran 79 yards the other way.

Prior to that – with a couple of Northside punts, a Valdosta punt and a Wildcat field goal try – and fail – of 53 yards, was Maulik Winfield’s fumble recovery in the endzone for another score. All of the action prior came in the fourth quarter. Winfield’s touchdown came with nine seconds left before the final horn. The point after was no good making it the aforementioned 9-7.

Working backward to the half was two Eagle punts and one by Valdosta.

The first half didn’t look much different. Northside had just three first downs and 38 yards of total offense. The Wildcats had three and 40.

Both had nothing but a couple of punts to show for the first quarter – plus McCall’s first interception.

Munson got Northside on board early in the second on a 32-yard field goal. That came via an 11-play, 30-yard drive – those two aforementioned first downs being a part of it.

Alijah McGhee picked off another Valdosta pass following, but the Eagles were still unable to move the ball and had to punt again. The Wildcats did likewise and then on Northside’s next possession picked up a touchdown on Desmond Johnson’s 24-yard pick six. The Eagles again punted following and with the clock running down, Valdosta took a knee to usher in the half.

The game was the first for both in Region 1-AAAAAA. Northside improved to 1-0 in that regard, 6-1 overall. The defending state champs fell to 0-1, 2-5.