Chiefs earn important region win over Walton, 42-20
By By ROBERT BLANKENSHIP
Advance Managing Editor
After consecutive losses, including a heartbreaking homecoming defeat last week, the Northview Chiefs were looking to get back in the win column against an area opponent. What they got was their most complete outing of the season as they whipped the Walton Braves, 42-20.
The Northview defense paved the way for the victory as they attacked the ball and gave Walton little room to run. In fact, it was the defense that scored the first points of the game with a safety when the Chiefs were behind 6-0.
The offense did well too. The running attack of Leonte Wright and Terry Lindor was complemented by a strong passing game. With the exception of a few turnovers and penalties, the Chiefs had their game running on all cylinders.
It did take a little time to get the engine warmed up though as they Braves came out and drove the ball down field on their first possession to take a 6-0 lead. The point after was no good.
Most of what remained of the first quarter was an exchange of possessions by both teams as neither could get the ball in the end zone.
It appeared that Northview had something going as they made their way to the Chief 10-yard line. But, penalties and a sack killed the momentum and they were forced to punt on fourth down and 45 yards to go. The punt was perfect as it was downed at the 6-yard line.
What happened over the next three plays set the tone for the rest of the game. On first down the defense rushed through the line and knocked the ball carrier down for a loss of one yard as the first quarter came to end. The following play looked the same – only this time it was a loss of three yards. On third down at their own 2-yard line, the Braves opted to run the ball and again the Northview defense was all over the play as they brought the runner down for a safety.
On the safety kickoff from the 20-yard line, Nick Gradia made a good return back to the Braves' 46-yard line. Northview quarterback Kyle Williams found John Madison open on the first play for a gain of 12 yards. From the 34-yard line, Wright did the rest as he hit the line on the right side, broke a few tackles and then made his way to the pylon for the go-ahead touchdown. Ben Gilmore's point after attempt was good and suddenly the Chiefs were up 9-6.
Within one minute, the Northview defense and offense had both scored. Now it was the special teams turn to shine. As the Braves' return man caught the ball and began making his way downfield, Northview defenders stripped the ball away and fell on it at the 20-yard line.
On the first play, Williams dropped back to pass. But, with no one open, he took off to the right side and scampered into the end zone. The PAT was no good.
Within two minutes, the Chiefs went from a 6-0 deficit to holding a 15-6 advantage.
After kicking, the defense continued the good work as they forced the Braves to punt. Dawson Chavers got a good return back to the 45-yard line.
On the first play, the Northview pass was intercepted. But, a flag was called against the Braves for interference and the Chiefs kept the ball. On the very next play, Williams found the tallest man on the field, Jonathan Andrews, for a gain of 28 yards to the 2-yard line. Lindor did the rest of the job, scoring on a run up the middle. The PAT was good and Northview took a 22-6 lead.
After another three-and-out delivered by the defense, the Northview offense took possession of the ball at their own 28 after a punt. It took the offense eight plays to make their way downfield and score on a 15-yard run by Wright. The PAT was good and the Chiefs took a 29-6 lead which was the score at halftime.
Northview started the second half where they left off. After another three-and-out, the Chiefs' offense took possession at the Brave 33-yard line after a good return by Chavers. A reception for three yards turned into a big gain as the Braves were called for a personal foul which moved the line of scrimmage to the 13-yard line. After a few short gainers and an incomplete pass, the Chiefs faced fourth down and eight at the 8-yard line. Williams found Lindor who picked up the needed yardage for the score. The PAT was blocked, but Northview was in control of the game 35-6.
Northview tacked on another score after a nice drive to end the third quarter. Williams found Andrews for the score in the back of the right corner of the end zone. Though he was double teamed, the Northview receiver stood at least a foot taller than his defenders which gave him a big advantage as he went up for the catch. The PAT was good and Northview increased their lead to 42-6 with 10:50 to go.
The Braves were able to get two scores in the final minutes of the game to make the final score 42-20.
The win was an important one for the Chiefs as they go to 2-1 in region play. They will travel to Marianna next week for another region game.