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Eagles beat Bears to lock in second seed

Northside left some points on the board, but probably wasn’t complaining too much when it was all over. It still had plenty to get past Houston County 38-21 Friday in McConnell-Talbert Stadium.

Four missed opportunities for the Eagles came in the first half – driving and getting deep inside Bears territory but coming away empty. They did manage to get out to a 10-7 lead, however, and led 17-0 before Houston County got on board. That – 17-7 – was also where it stood at the half.

The Eagles ran for 94 yards and passed for 120 in the first half. The Bears had 38 on the ground and in the air.

They also received the ball to start the second half but gave up an interception to Ricardo Jones on three plays.

Northside turned that into a 24-7 lead when it went the 40 yards necessary in six plays, scored on Cam Brown’s three-yard run and watched Ashton Paredes make another point after. That came with 7:42 left in the quarter.

Houston County drove but turned it over on downs after failing to convert a fourth-and-11. The Eagles appeared as if they would pretty much put the game away – see: left some points on the board – but were intercepted at the 21.

Instead, the Bears cut it to 24-14 with an 18-play drive – the game also moving into the fourth quarter – and scoring on a 13-yard pass from Antwan Hill to Brayden Frazier. Davis Shaw made the point after.

Northside answered with a four-play, 65-yard drive of its own. It scored on Michael McClendon’s six-yard run. That came with 8:32 left in the ball game.

A pick-six of 22 yards by Keontae Rhymes, coupled with the point after, made it 38-14.

Ryan Taleb’s 85-yard kickoff return soured that a bit and made it 38-21. Another Eagles’ interception made it worse, but Northside was able to hold and force Houston County to turn it over on downs. That came with just a minute left in the ballgame. The Eagles were able to run out the rest.

Northside improved to 7-3, 2-1 with the win – will host the first round in approximately two weeks. Houston County fell to 4-6, 0-3 and will be forced to go on the road when the state tournament begins.

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