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Chiefs win district championship, defeat Chipley Tigers 52-21

By By Donald Wright
Sports Writer
By Donald Wright
Staff Writer
There was a lot on the line for the Northview Chiefs Friday night as they played host to the Chipley Tigers. Both teams were undefeated in district play and were playing for the district championship. Chipley played tough in the first half, but in the end the Chiefs were to strong as they defeated the Tigers by a final score of 52-21.
The win was a key one for the Chiefs. It not only assured them the district championship; it also gave them home-field advantage in the first round of Florida's high school play-offs. The Chiefs don't know who their opponent will be, but they know that they will be playing on their own turf.
"District Champs! District Champs! " was the cry from the Northview players in the huddle after the game. Coach Bo Lambeth was pleased with the effort of the entire team. " We had it tough early, " he said. " Chipley had a great game plan and executed well in the first half. Our offense and defense stepped up big in the second half and played extremely hard. I am so proud of the way they handled the adversity early in the game."
The game began with very little in the way of offense. The Chiefs received the opening kick-off, but was forced into a punting situation early. They tried a fake punt, but Chipley was not fooled and stopped Jonathan Andrews one yard short of the first down at the 50-yard line.
Chipley was also unable to move the ball on their opening possession. The Chiefs' defense stepped up and pushed they back. The Tigers were faced with a long third down situation but caught the Chiefs by surprise by kicking the ball away instead of running a play. The ball rolled dead at the Chiefs' 3-yard line.
The Chiefs wasted little time on their next offensive drive. It took them only two plays to cover the 97 yards for the score. Leonte Wright did all the damage for the Chiefs. His first run covered 33 yards to the 36-yard line. Seeing his success on the previous run, the coaches put the ball back in Wright's hands and he ran 64 yards for the touchdown. The PAT was missed, but Northview drew first blood and led 6-0 with 7:17 to go in the first quarter.
Chipley answered the score, though, on the next offensive possession. They started at their own 33-yard line and drove the ball 67 yards in eight plays. Allen Ellis did most of the damage for the Tigers running the ball four times for 48 yards including a six yard touchdown run. They connected on a two-point conversion, and led the Chiefs 8-6 with 2:40 to go in the first.
Northview again found themselves trapped deep in their own territory at their own 6-yard line. The field position was not a problem for the Chiefs as they moved the ball 94 yards in four plays for the touchdown. Kyle Williams connected with Andrews on a 91 yard bomb for the score. Northview added a two-point conversion and retook the lead 14-8 with 10:59 to go in the second quarter.
Chipley had trouble with ball control on their next drive, and fumbled the ball to the Chiefs at their own 37-yard line. It took just one play to score as Wright broke it again for the 37 yard touchdown. Northview added another two-point conversion and expanded their lead to 22-8 with 8:52 left in the second quarter.
Neither team was able to move the ball much for the remainder of the first half. It was the defense of Chipley that provided the next scoring opportunity. O ' Neil Dubose was hit hard after a reception and fumbled the ball. The ball rolled into the end zone where Chipley recovered it for the touchdown. This cut the lead at the half to 21-15.
The Chiefs exploded for 21 point in the third quarter. Andrews got the scoring started on a 48 yard touchdown scamper. Kyle Williams and Mandell Smith then got together for a one yard touchdown and a six yard touchdown. This offensive explosion gave the Chiefs a commanding 43-15 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Chipley was finally able to get its offense going one last time. They started at their own 7-yard line, but put together a nine play 93 yard drive. John Thompson finished the drive with a two yard touchdown run. The Tigers went for two, but the Chiefs broke up the pass, and their lead was now 43-21 with 11:42 to go in the game.
Northview was not finished on the night, though. They started their next possession at their own 42-yard line, but only needed three plays to cover the 58 yards. Wright again provided the offense as he ran for a 16 yard touchdown. The PAT was missed, and Northview led 49-21. Josh Greenwell added a 28 yard field goal late in the game to cap the scoring for the Chiefs.
The Chiefs have two games remaining on their regular season schedule. Although they have completed their sweep of district play, they are still looking for a perfect season. The Chiefs will be on the road next week in Brewton to face W. S. Neal, and will be home for their final game against the Escambia County High School Blue Devils.