Northview falls to Bay Tornadoes in preseason gamePublished 6:30pm Saturday, August 25, 2012
The penalty flags were aired out almost as much as the football Friday night in Bratt as the Northview Chiefs took the field for a preseason jamboree versus the Bay High School Tornadoes.
Despite a close game, a 2-yard plunge into the end zone by a Tornado back late in the fourth quarter gave Bay the edge they needed to pull out a 7-point victory, avenging a loss they suffered to Northview last season in the same stadium. NHS head coach Sid Wheatley said the penalties certainly played a role in the loss, but added his team needs to work on finishing close games.
“I felt good at halftime,” Wheatley said. “We were playing really good defense in the second quarter. The third quarter we seemed to be pretty good defensively, and I’m a defensive coach, but they got a push in the fourth quarter. They drove it the entire length of the field. They had a big drive and punched it in when they had to. We didn’t make the stop and that kind of determined the game.”
The fourth-quarter clincher by Bay’s offense came after Northview held them scoreless through the better part of three quarters after a Tornado score early in the first versus the Chiefs’ back up squad.
NHS began second quarter play by bringing in first team players, and first-year starting quarterback Kevin Vaughn got the momentum flowing their way immediately, finding La’Mikal Banks through the air on his first throw. After establishing a consistent drive through the air, a third down sack put Northview’s offense out of commission temporarily. But the Chiefs’ starting defense, anchored by stand out safety Neiko Robinson, held fast.
The teams traded series until Northview finally found an offensive spark late in the first half, driving down the field and capping off the run with a 15-yard touchdown scamper from La’Mikal Kyles to tie things up at 7 all. Things stayed tight through outstanding defensive efforts from both squads until Bay’s game winning fourth quarter score.
Wheatley said now his team must look at what they did wrong in Friday’s match up and apply it to next week’s game, which opens their 2012 season. “They were way too many penalties and we had way too many mistakes,” Wheatley said. “We’ve got to learn from what we did tonight. We’ve got to watch the game film. We’ve got to see all of the mistakes. And we’ve got to be able to close. We’ve got to be able to finish games in the fourth quarter.”
Despite the loss, Wheatley said he was proud of the performance many of his key players gave in the jamboree showing, including Vaughn, who left the game early in the fourth with a banged up right hand.
“I thought (Vaughn) put pressure on them all night with our rollouts and our bootleg passes, but they’re were some places where he was able to take off and get yards or he threw the ball downfield and was able to complete passes,” Wheatley said. “So when you’ve got a guy you can get on the edge, it puts the defense in a bind as to whether to come up and play this guy or back off. I thought he played real well. I thought he played with a lot of poise.”
Wheatley also pointed to several other players who stepped up in the match up.
“I thought Corey Baggett at linebacker did well. Stedson Ash has really come along on the defensive front for us. Brandon Freeman at outside linebacker and Dalton Tullis, our backup-quarterback. He came in and probably didn’t think he was going to play that much tonight, but for the most part handled the ball well.”
Wheatley said he and his team will use Friday’s loss to prepare for John Paul Catholic next week at home in Bratt. Northview will start the season ranked No. 3 in the preseason polls for Florida’s rural league — something Wheatley said his boys will have to play hard to maintain. “It puts a target on our backs for sure,” he said. Northview will face off against John Paul Catholic Friday night at 7 p.m.