“You turn on the projector and it doesn’t matter if it’s 2006 or 2017, they look exactly the same.”
That was Northside Head Coach Kevin Kinsler on Tucker.
Now, Eagle fans would certainly not swap out this year’s players for the club he mentioned to start – they’re proud of them and with plenty of reason to be – but they wouldn’t mind their record. That particular Northside group finished 15-0 and won the state championship.
It also didn’t have to play the Tigers, which made all the difference in the world Friday night in the second round of the GHSA Class AAAAAA state tournament, as this particular group fell 28-7 to end its season (8-4).
Northside started the game off with an impressive 15-play drive that covered 72 yards and ate up just over eight minutes of the clock. Marcus Jolly finished it off from the 1 and Cory Munson made it a 7-0 ballgame.
That’s how the first quarter ended. The Tigers only had one possession during that time. They made a first down but then had to punt.
They did force the Eagles to punt on their second possession – a three and out – and then tied it.
Their drive covered 58 yards and took nine plays. It ended when Travon Ford connected with Josh Vann on a 19-yard touchdown pass. Malachi Buckner tied it.
Northside turned it over on its next possession, but its defense held and Tucker had to punt. The Eagles did likewise on their next possession, then the half ended with Tucker holding the ball on the 42.
Both punted to start the third. The Tigers then went ahead on a 60-yard drive took six plays to get into the endzone. That came via a repeat of earlier – a Ford 19-yard pass to Vann.
Northside looked as if it might answer that as it moved the ball from its own 35 deep into Tucker territory. But a fumble on the 8 gave it back to the host.
That also led to the Tigers’ third touchdown – the game moving into the fourth quarter now. It was an 82-yard drive that went nine plays and ended with David Davis’ 27-yard run. That came with just inside 10 minutes to play.
Northside picked up a first down on its next possession but then turned it over on downs when a pass on fourth-and-six fell incomplete.
Tucker took over and went 49 yards on five plays. This time Ford scored from 23 yards out.
The Eagles again turned it over on downs following, to which the Tigers – improving to 10-1 as they advance – took over and ran out the clock.