Call it an upset.
Call it a stunner.
Or if you want to be completely accurate, call it about as good a game as Northside could play as it beat Coffee, the No. 2 ranked team in AAAAAA, 30-20, Friday in McConnell-Talbert Stadium.
The offense did its job. The defense did its – boy did it – and special teams did its.
We’ll start with the latter and work our way back. Early on it looked like Cory Munson would provide all of Northside’s points. He hit a 53 yarder to give it a 3-0 lead.
After A.J. Wilkerson connected with Maurice Turner on a 73-yard touchdown pass, he hit a 23 yarder to make it 7-6. That came with just over two minutes left in the quarter. Not long after that – the game into the second quarter – he connected from 35 yards out to gave the Eagles a 9-7 lead.
Then it was the defense’s turn. Kentrez Anthony picked off a Trojan pass. He carried it 25 yards for a score and a 16-7 Northside lead.
On the Trojans’ next possession Tubby McCall intercepted a pass. He carried it to the 29 where a couple of plays later Eric Smith scored from the 21. That made it 23-7, which is where it stood at the half.
Northside was forced to punt on its opening possession of the third. Coffee took it on its own 36, ran 12 plays and scored. Wilkerson did the honors from one yard out. The Trojans went for the two-point conversion but failed.
Now it was the offense’s turn. It obviously needed to answer in a big way, and it did. Starting at the 20, the Eagles picked up a couple of first downs before Jadin Daniels found Keuntae Stewart on a 54-yard touchdown pass. That was with just under two minutes left in the third.
The defense had another shot after that. It held Coffee out of the endzone on a fourth-and-goal from the 1. The Trojans did keep it a nail-biter, however, when it scooped-and-scored on a Northside fumble following. (Also negating the good work the Eagles’ offense had done moving it out of the shadow of their own goal.)
That ended the scoring but obviously not the action.
After forcing Northside to punt – still with more than six minutes left to play – Coffee again moved it down the field. That drive ended when Anthony intercepted a pass on the 1.
The Eagles were again forced to punt on their next possession, but by then the clock was down to well inside a minute. The Trojans moved it some – also got sacked twice – before time ran out.
The loss was the first for Coffee. It stands at 6-1. Northside improved to 4-3 and just as importantly, with it being both teams’ Region 1-AAAAAA opener, gave it a 1-0 start.
McDonalds Offensive Player of the Game: Cory Munson
My Pie Defensive Player of the Game: Kentrez Anthony